Adored for its mature flavour, nutritional quality and versatility, goat has become a go-to protein for many of Britain’s favourite chefs and food bloggers. And what’s more, it can be super sustainable. As Luke Holder, co-head chef at Hartnett Holder & Co says, “One of the keys for us is just how sustainable and ethical goat meat is. In this day and age, when goat milk is in huge demand, goat meat is a by-product and should be consumed in greater numbers.”
We caught up with a few of our favourite chefs and bloggers to find out how to cook goat, from their favourite ways to cook it, their favourite cuts and what to pair it with, plus simple recipes for cooking it on the barbecue.
Alfred Prasad | Chef
“I like to cook goat with fenugreek leaves, spinach or mint”
“I do enjoy cooking goat and it’s always on the bone if I’m cooking curries or biryani. For kebab, I go for large dices of goat leg and marinate them with tenderisers like papaya, ginger, mace and clove. I particularly like to cook goat with fenugreek leaves, spinach or mint. I find the freshness and flavours of these ingredients pairs beautifully in reducing the meatiness and enhancing its other notes”
Alfred Prasad is a Michelin-starred chef, currently working on his own restaurant project in London and writing his first book.
Helen Graves | Food Blogger
“It’s possible to cook just about any cut of goat on the barbecue but it’s important to use the right method to avoid dryness”
“It’s possible to cook just about any cut of goat on the barbecue but it’s important to use the right method to avoid dryness as goat doesn’t have the same amount of fat as lamb. Chops are the easiest, which just need marinating and cooking quickly over direct heat for a few minutes on each side. A larger cut like leg is best if you butterfly it, add flavour then cook over direct heat, flipping often (the whole process will take around 20 minutes and you’re aiming for an internal temperature of around 55ºC to 60ºC). Rest for 10 minutes.
For something like shoulder, marinate or rub it then smoke slowly in a covered barbecue for around 2 hours, then wrap it in foil and smoke again for another 2 to 3 hours, or until a temperature probe reads 90ºC. Rest for 30 minutes.
In terms of flavour, pretty much anything that goes for lamb will work for goat. Strong flavours work well, so use lots of spice, and don’t be afraid to add chilli, herbs and dressings as garnish too. You can find lots more advice on cooking goat, along with some killer recipes in Issue 3 of my BBQ magazine, Pit.
Ian Macintosh | Chef
“Make a glaze of honey and dried lavender, and brush on with a pastry brush”
“We’ve cooked a lot with goat in the past here at Heirloom, but one of my favourite ways is to get a rack and barbecue it. Rub 50:50 salt and pepper into the rack then cook on the barbecue at around 170ºC. When the fat renders and the flames start to burn the meat, close the lid and leave for 50 minutes. A 60ºC internal temperature for medium is perfect.
Meanwhile, make a glaze of honey and dried lavender and brush on with a pastry brush. Rest for 10 minutes and baste with the cooking juice and honey. Serve with new potatoes when in season. We use Carols heritage potatoes from the Scottish boarder. Anya potatoes are also good. A simple green salad with a strong mustard vinaigrette works well with the honey and goat fat.”
Ian Macintosh is Executive Chef at Heirloom in Crouch End, which he runs with his brother, David – also a chef.
Elliott Lidstone | Chef
“Goat has more of a delicate flavour, like new season lamb”
“I love the shoulder, slowly braised, then rolled. It pairs really nicely with harissa. People often associate goat with stews and curries but the loin is a real treat. It’s more of a delicate flavour, like new season lamb, and perfect with any summer veg.”
Chef Elliot Lidstone owns and runs Bristol’s Box-E restaurant with his wife, Tessa.
Danny Kingston | Food Blogger
“I do love a goat burger and Merguez sausage, sizzling straight off the grill”
“For a long time, I only ever really associated goat with curry. As in, that great Caribbean staple. But that soon changed after I got hold of some kid shoulder and simply seasoned the joint before slow-roasting it. I served up with walnut and mint salsa and some simple roasted vegetables and it was beautiful. In fact, the plate I dished up fairly knocked my passion for lamb straight off it’s perch.
“I try to cook with it as often as I can. Sweeter and lighter in flavour, the great thing about goat meat is its versatility. It works well on the barbecue – and I do love a goat burger and Merguez sausage, sizzling straight off the grill. But goat can also make for a more fancier sort of dinner party dish. A rack, crusted in herbs and served just pink is a fine, fine thing. Especially when paired with homemade hummus, a fresh green salad and spiced chickpeas scattered around.”
Sam Bryant | Chef
“We smoke the shoulder over oak and serve it shredded as part of a Sunday roast”
“We get through a lot of goat at Coal Rooms, it’s a nice little nod to the African community that Peckham has. We buy whole carcasses, then break down the beast into shoulder and neck which we smoke over oak and serve shredded as part of a Sunday roast; the chops and Barnsley’s are cooked over Holm Oak charcoal and served pink. We
We smoke the bellies as well and serve that with a char sui sauce made from Kanpai sake which is also made in Peckham. The legs are minced with the fat from the insides and mixed with jerk spices, which are made into sausages and lightly smoked.”
Sam Bryant is Head Chef at Coal Rooms in Peckham.