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:
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)
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.