Goat, the Other Dark Meat
Can goat’s milk and yogurt be used interchangeably with cow’s milk and yogurt, or are there certain things that you need to account for?
Well goat yogurt is thinner than cow yogurt because the fat molecules are smaller, so it doesn’t set up the way cow’s milk yogurt does. You might have some issues using it in a cake batter or that kind of things, so keep in mind the liquidness of the yogurt. Overall, it’s pretty much interchangeable. But remember that you will change the flavor because goat dairy is less mild than the meat and has a distinct barnyard quality, so anytime you put that in cooking, you are going to put that flavor of goat dairy in there, which is a nice thing. Goat dairy has a savory-ness and an umami flavor, so it adds that to sweet things, like caramel, blondies, brownies, cheesecakes…
For people who are wary of eating goat meat, how would you describe the taste?
Goat meat tastes like a cross between dark meat turkey and pork. It’s very mild, very sweet, but it doesn’t have that gaminess that people expect it to. People think oh no it’s goat, it will be very gamey. It’s milder in flavor than lamb, lamb can be very gamey, but goat doesn’t have half of that gamey quality lamb does. If people don’t like, then chances are that they didn’t taste good goat.
We also call it the cruise effect. On a cruise, people have some Jamaican goat curry and don’t like it. But we’ve found that older, stinky goats are used for meat in those dishes, and that’s not what you’ll find here. The goat meat here is younger, milder, and sweeter.
What are some of the best methods for cooking goat?
Well braising is the best because goat meat is a low and slow kind of meat. There's very little on the goat that you can’t cook. Of course there’s ground goat, and you can make goat burgers, meatballs, and things that cook quickly. Other than that, goat chops, just like lamb chops, can be made on the grill or under the broiler. The leg, shoulder, hip, and neck need a long slow braise. That’s why our book is full of French stews, Indians curries; we actually have a whole chapter on curries because every culture has its own version of curry.