Tag Archives: Goat

SPEZZATINO DI CAPRETTO (Italian Goat/ Kid stew)

I am always very pleased to find goat meat and I found some at the Farmers Market in Albury-Wodonga when I visited there recently. The meat was from Boer goats (those attractive white and brown ones) bred and raised on a farm called Myrrhee Premium Boer Goats located on the Benalla-Whitfield Rd near Wangaratta and Benalla. It is also very close to the gourmet and wine country of the King Valley Region in North Eastern Victoria. The goats are free-range and the farm sell milk fed capretto and chevon goat meat – the young and the mature beast.

I also bought some goat sausages; these also contain a little pork meat.

Goat with two kids b

Spring in Sicily is the time to eat capretto (kid) and being in the northern hemisphere, many parts of Sicily celebrate Easter with kid. This photo was taken in the market in Catania in Spring and you will notice that whole or sides of meat are always sold with the head attached – not just in Sicily but all over Italy.  It is also common to leave some of the fur on one of the hooves. My mother used to say that this is because buyers want proof of what animal is being sold.

Notice also, the tripe on the tray in front of the carcase.

Veal or lamb can also be cooked in this very simple way for making a spezzatino (the Italian word for stew).

Usually potatoes are added to spezzatini (stews). I added fennel.

INGREDIENTS
1.5 k of chopped goat meat with bones (a young beast)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots cut into large pieces
salt, freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2-3 fresh bay leaves
1 cup chopped parsley
1-2 fennel, cut into quarters

PROCESSES
Heat the oil in a braising pan and over high heat brown the meat until it has a golden colour.
Remove the meat from the pan and sauté the onion, add the garlic and return the meat to the pan.
Add white wine, herbs, carrots and seasoning.
Cover and braise on slow heat for at least one hour before adding the fennel. Check during the cooking process to see if it will need more liquid and add a little water or stock.It may also need more cooking as this will depend on the quality and age of the meat.
Adjust seasoning if necessary, cover again and cook until the fennel is soft, but does not fall apart (about 20 minutes).

MA2SBAE8REVW

SLOW COOKED LEG OF GOAT WITH HOT MINT SAUCE

My friends all seem to enjoy good food and are good cooks; Mandy is no exception. Not all of my friend’s cooking has been represented on my blog; this is not because I have not enjoyed their food, warmth and hospitality, but more because I may not have had a camera or it was inappropriate to take photos when food was about to be served.

This is a photo of a leg of goat that had been marinating in a chemoula my friend Mandy made with a mix of ghee, extra virgin olive oil, some of her own preserved lemons and harissa.  She purchased the goat from friends who like her live on a property near Cowra in New South Wales. Goat is a lean meat and benefits from being larded or having some extra fat added.

 

Mandy placed the meat on a rack in an old fashioned, baking dish (which is a delight in itself). She kept the lid on throughout the cooking time and ensured that there was a bit of water below the rack in the bottom of the baking dish; this provides a bit of steam and keeps the meat from drying out. Marinating the meat beforehand and this method of cooking prevents shrinkage; the meat was very tender, moist and tasty.

Score the surface of the meat in a 1 cm criss-cross pattern to help the marinade penetrate the meat. Preheat the oven to 160c and cook for 6 hours.

Add about ½ cup of water to the pan after the first 30 minutes and then every hour. The juices and the scrapings from the pan made an excellent gravy.

But it is not just the meat that makes a good meal. We ate the meat with silver beet grown in her garden. This was mixed with whole chickpeas and sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, onion, garlic, chilli and cumin.  A tahini dressing (tahini, garlic, salt, oil, lemon juice, cumin and a little warm water) accompanied this dish.

 

We had unpeeled kiffler potatoes roasted in extra virgin olive oil and a bowl of cucumber mixed with yogurt, mint and garlic.

Mandy also made a hot mint sauce using a recipe from Sam and Sam Clark’s Casa Moro, The Second Cookbook. I too have this book and here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoon’s extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons good quality sweet red wine vinegar (add a pinch of sugar to normal red wine vinegar or use balsamic)
salt & black pepper
½ a teaspoon caster sugar (optional)

PROCESSES
Place a small saucepan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. When it is hot, but not smoking, add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes until golden brown – stir once or twice to ensure it colours evenly. Add half the mint and all of the cumin. Cook for a further minute then add the red wine vinegar and simmer for 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining mint. Season and add sugar if needed to balance the flavours. Serve hot.

Goat (capra in Italian), like mutton is the mature beast; kid (capretto in Italian) is the young animal. As a rule Italians prefer to eat kid.

For other kid or goat recipes see previous posts:
KID WITH ALMONDS (SPRING IN SICILY, CAPRETTO CON LE MANDORLE)
SLOW COOKED GOAT IN NERO D’AVOLA

 

And there was more food. We finished off the meal with a rhubarb cake (the rhubarb is also grown in her garden) and accompanied by some of her saffron ice cream made with eggs from her hens. This fantastic meal was prepared by this very busy woman, who could have been spending more time in her studio painting (you can see some of Mandy’s paintings on the wall behind her).

Thank you Mandy, another memorable meal.

MA2SBAE8REVW

KID/GOAT WITH ALMONDS (SPRING IN SICILY, CAPRETTO CON LE MANDORLE)

In Sicily, spring is the celebration of life, which in cultural and religious terms is expressed in Easter; Primavera (Spring) and Pasqua (Easter) are synonymous – a fusion of nature, culture, family and food.

When it is spring in Australia, it is autumn in Sicily. but we seem to be able to buy goat in Australia during both seasons.

A popular spring meat and Easter Sunday lunch treat is kid or lamb, commonly roasted or braised, and all depending on how one’s mother cooked it.

My relatives in Ragusa traditionally eat mpanata ri agnieddu a focaccia type pie made with very young lamb (complete with bones) and enveloped with a bread dough crust, and this is because it is what my grandmother made at Easter and probably her mother before her.

In Australia the meat I buy is likely be considered as goat in Italy.

Saanen goat

The kid recipe I have chosen to write about is a variation of capretto con le mandorle (kid with almonds), a recipe from the north western area of Sicily which includes Trapani, Marsala and Mazara del Vallo.

It is from the book La Cucina Tradizionale Siciliana by Anna Pomar, published in 1984. The book was given to me by Rosetta my cousin on one of the many occasions when I visited her home in Ragusa – this was her own copy and has her annotations all over it…. a bit like the books I inherited from my mother.

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I love the texture that the almonds provide in the thickening of this dish.

I always like to make recipes my own and modify them to my tastes.

To this recipe I added more onions, bay leaves, stock rather than water and dry Marsala. Is it still the same recipe?

INGREDIENTS

3k kid/goat, the younger the better, compete with some bones,
2 onions, finely sliced,
3-4 bay leaves,
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil,
½ cup Marsala Fina (dry version, if not substitute with white wine)
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or cannned)
300g almonds, blanched and ground to powder,
broth/ stock or stock cube and water (approx. 3 cups of liquid)
salt and pepper to taste

 

PROCESSES

Cut the goat into medium sized pieces (so that you have to use a knife and fork to cut it on your plate). Trim off access fat and wipe the meat dry.
Heat the oil, add the goat and the onion and brown it lightly.
Add the Marsala and deglaze the contents in the pan.
Add the tomatoes, herbs,  broth and seasoning.
Cover and cook on low heat and until meat pulls off the bone. Pomar’s recipe suggests cooking it for 45 minutes, my goat (rather than kid) can take up to 2 hours of cooking.
Add the almond meal and reheat gently. If the sauce is too dense, add a little more broth.

 

Although Sicilians and Italians tend to eat their food lukewarm, the recipe states to eat it hot.

 

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