Goat, Sheep, and Pig

A couple weeks ago, we purchased some goat meat at the Ballard Farmer’s Market and turned it into an improvised goat meat stew roughly adapting a lamb and lentil soup recipe.  According to Alice Waters quince also pairs nicely with lamb meat, so I threw it in.  The meat was good, a little tough and surprisingly mild – next time I will be sure to select a recipe which adds a richer flavor to the meat.  That may prove to be a while though!  I’ve recently placed an order for half a pig (coming in December) raised by Rolling Bay Farm (can’t get much more local than around the block).  Additionally a co-worker is having a lamb butchered and I will be lucky enough to get quarter!  (All this meat means I’ll finally try my hand at making sausages…)

Goat Stew

2 tbls. olive oil
1 lb goat
1 onion
4 carrots (in large pieces)
1 quince (quartered and cored, peel on)
4 cloves garlic, thick slices
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
mint (lots – to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup brandy
1 1/4 cups lentils
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup yogurt strained (5-8 hours in refrigerator through cheese cloth)

Start the carrots and quince in a small pan of water mixed with honey.  Simmer until needed.

Heat the oil over high in a deep pan and cook the goat until browned.  Remove the meat and set aside.  Add the garlic, onion, half the mint and the other seasonings to the pot.  Cook until onion softens and then add brandy.  Cook for a couple minutes then add lentils and stock.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the lentils are soft (about 20 minutes).  Partially blend the soup, return the meat and add the strained vegetables.  Heat for 5 minutes.  Serve with yogurt and remaining mint.

(Sadly the lentils were not local.)

Given how strong (and delicious) the odors were during cooking I expected a rich, deeply flavored dish.  However, the reality was a mild but addictive flavor which fell a little flat against the goat meat.  The quince was good, but I  overcooked it so it largely fell apart.  Individual hunks were reminiscent of pear, but more astringent.  The winner from this experiment was actually the strained yogurt!  I can’t wait to find other dishes to serve it with.

Here’s a view of the inside of the quince if anyone is curious (sorry for the quality of image).

Advertisements

Quince!

All those who played the game were correct. I believe it is indeed a quince. I poached it from a heavily laden tree in the park, now what to do with it? Alice, in Chez Panisse Fruit, a book I just happen to have from the library, says:

“The decline of the quince may be explained by the fact that it is not a convenience food. The yellowish-white flesh of raw quince is inediblely hard, dry, and astringent and must be cooked before it becomes soft and flavorful and turns a lovely pink color. The few steps in preparation are quick and easy, but the cooking takes a long time.”

The one I picked was fuzzy and it seems that the less fuzz, the more ripe it is. She says that it will keep for a week or two on the counter or longer in the refrigerator. When I have time, I will perhaps try a very small quince and apple tart. It looks like they have to be poached before being turned into a tart. Stay tuned.