A bit of dried oregano, a pinch of chilli flakes, a heap of garlic, a scrape of lemon zest and a sprig or two of rosemary. I find myself almost automatically adding these to pretty much everything at the moment. The base of a soup, over potatoes, stirred into some soft, oily pasta; it does the job every time. I guess it just shows the importance of the store cupboard. As much as I preach on about fresh, seasonal ingredients, I am still able to whip up something mega tasty by opening a trusty jar or two. And here they form the core of the recipe.
When you buy kid goat, it is compulsory to make the obvious dad joke. As an avid dad-joke aficionado, I’ve also stored it up for many a future use. The texts to the long-suffering other half about coming home with a kid in the bag didn’t get a response. When I walked through the door and exclaimed that the very next day I was going to slowly roast a kid all I got was an “uh huh”. She didn’t even look up. It’s fair enough I suppose. Such terrible humour doesn’t require acknowledgement.
But aside from such cringeworthy antics, I was genuinely really excited to be cooking a goat dish. I’ve always enjoyed eating goat, but I’ve been surprised at why such a presumably prime and abundant source of protein isn’t used more. Demand I guess? It’s only relatively recently that I’ve started seeing it on the odd menu, so good on those restaurants for doing something a little different.
This is one of those recipes that’s dead simple in principle and technique, it just requires a little bit of time and patience. But the results were totally worth it. The meat, cooked for so long, was falling off the bone and moreishly tender. The new season samphire added a lovely, salty kick, whilst the soft chickpeas rounded the dish off with an element of comfort. I shall definitely be returning to goat in the future, especially once it gets properly warm and the barbeque gets dragged out…
For the kid:
1 shoulder of kid, about 1.8-2kg in weight, on the bone
4 sprigs of rosemary
3 onions, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
½ a bottle white wine
1.5 ltrs good chicken stock
Straw for smoking
For the sauce:
The braising stock from the kid
2 good knobs of butter
For the chickpeas:
2 tins of chickpeas, drained
1 shallot, finely sliced
4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 lemon, zest and juice
4 tbsp of good olive oil
For the greens:
A handful of purple sprouting broccoli, trimmed and leaves kept
A good handful of samphire
A squeeze of lemon juice
A few rosemary flowers
Get the kid on to start with. Preheat the oven to 120⁰C. Heat a large, heavy casserole dish (one with a lid and big enough to fit the joint into) to a high temperature. Season the shoulder all over with salt and pepper, add a generous amount of oil to the dish and brown well on all sides. Transfer the browned joint to a plate and set aside. Tip in the sliced onions, garlic, rosemary, chilli, oregano and bay and fry for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly caramelised and softened. With the heat still high, pour in the white wine and bring to the boil, then allow to reduce by half. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan. Top up with the stock and bring to a simmer. Pop the kid shoulder back in the dish, add the lid on top and slide into the oven for 4 hours, or until the meat is very soft.
When the meat has had its first cook, use some tongs to carefully transfer it in one piece to your smoking device (I use a bbq with a lid). Fill the bottom with straw and set alight, then close the lid and allow to smoke for about 20 minutes. Finally transfer the kid to a dish and allow to rest for at least 45 minutes.
To make the sauce, strain the kid cooking stock through a sieve into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce right down until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, and stir the butter in really well, until fully dissolved. Set aside and keep warm.
For the chickpeas, add a little oil to a medium saucepan, and gently soften the shallot and garlic with the rosemary, chilli, oregano and lemon zest. Add the chickpeas and top up with the rest of the olive oil. Turn the heat right down and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are very soft. Season really well with salt and pepper. Transfer 4 tablespoons of the chickpeas to a separate bowl and set aside until later, and transfer the rest into a food processor. Add the lemon juice and blend really well, until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning and acidity if needed. If the mixture is too firm, let it down with a few drops of water. Pour the puree back into a saucepan and set aside for reheating when needed.
To cook the greens, set a large frying pan onto a medium heat and add a good glug of oil. Add the purple broccoli first, and lightly colour on all sides. Pour in a good splash of water and continue to cook until al-dente. Add the samphire and broccoli leaves with about a minute to go. Finish with the lemon juice and a little seasoning.
Carve the kid shoulder into large chunks. Reheat the chickpeas and sauce if needed.
To serve, spoon large dollops of the chickpea puree onto each plate. Arrange a few chunks of the goat to the side and surround with the greens. Scatter over some of the whole chickpeas and some rosemary flowers if you have any. Finish with a generous amount of the sauce.