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Eat More Goat

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
Yahoo Food
February 27, 2014

Eat More Goat

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
Yahoo Food
February 27, 2014

Photo credit: StockFood

So goats are trending again, guys. Three thousand percent more of you have been searching for them online than usual. 

Fainting goats, pygmy goats, goats in a tree, kittens versus goats—you can’t get enough. And who can blame you? This week’s goaty new revelation, of goats dancing on a bendy sheet of steel, is totally mesmerizing

But. (You probably know where this is going, right?) Yes, they are adorable, but they are also—forgive us—delicious.

So as you’re hunting for goat videos, don’t forget about all the mouth-watering ways to cook goat, or use goat cheese, or drizzle goat’s milk caramel on a sundae. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get our goat on. 

Warning: Alternate goat consumption with viewing of adorable goat videos by at least 48 hours. 

Cajeta (Goat’s Milk Caramel)

Photo credit: James Ransom, Food52

Goat’s milk caramel, sometimes called cajeta, adds panache to any sundae, especially those using high-quality vanilla bean or Mexican chocolate ice creams. It’s a little lighter than typical caramel, and a touch less sweet, in the best way. Fat Toad Farm makes a great one, but making your own is a simple lazy day cooking project. 

Cajeta

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

  • 2 quarts goat’s milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

In a large saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and vanilla over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda solution. When the bubbling stops, return the pan to the heat, bring back to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 hour, or until it starts to thicken and turn a golden color. Thickening will continue rapidly after this point, so don’t go check your email! Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another 20 minutes, or until the cajeta is a rich brown color and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. It should cool to a medium-thick caramel consistency. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of water; if it’s too thin, continue to cook until thickened.

Transfer to a container, let cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Warm slightly before serving. It will keep for about 1 month in the refrigerator.

Goat Leg

Photo credit: StockFood

If you can get your paws on a goat leg—chat with your butcher, especially a halal butcher, or ask at the Mexican joint that just served you goat tacos—it’s an impressive thing to serve to a big crew. We love the looks of this Food & Wine recipe, which matches the aromatic, savory meat with a lime pickle and Swiss chard.

Goat Cheese

Photo credit: StockFood

There is a ton of great cheese out there, but on the list of the simpler varieties, goat cheese is one of the best. We’re partial to those from Vermont, including the easy-to-find fromage from Vermont Creamery. Use it in salads, or smeared on toasted baguette with ratatouille. And for a party, some of the easiest appetizers in the book are fresh, pitted dates stuffed with goat cheese, sprinkled with black pepper, and wrapped in slices of prosciutto

Goat Tacos

Photo credit: StockFood

Goat, at its best, is less gamey than lamb, with a slightly sweeter flavor. There’s a reason goat tacos are ubiquitous on menus both in Mexico and in major metropolitan areas stateside. Here’s a recipe that starts with a bone-in goat shoulder, leg or neck, which you can occasionally find at butchers. A three-hour chile marinade gets rid of any gamey essence, and queso fresco balances the chiles’ heat beautifully. 

Goat Tacos

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

  • 3 dried guajillo or New Mexico chiles, wiped clean
  • 2 dried ancho chiles, wiped clean
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pound bone-in goat such as shoulder, neck, or leg
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
  • 16 to 24 corn tortillas

Slit chiles lengthwise, then stem and deseed. Over a moderate flame, heat a dry skillet until hot, then toast chiles in batches, opened flat like a book, turning and pressing with them with tongs, until they become pliant and and have slightly changed color; this process should only take about 30 seconds per batch. 

Transfer chiles to a bowl and soak in hot water until softened, 20 to 30 minutes.

Coarsely chop tomatoes, reserving juice, and add them to a blender with drained chiles, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining ingredients (save for the tortillas). Puree until smooth, about 1 minute.

Separate goat at the joints into pieces and put in a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Pour pureed sauce over meat, coating thoroughly, then cover dish tightly with a double layer of foil and braise in oven until meat is very tender, 3 to 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and cool meat in liquid, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.

Coarsely shred meat with forks, discarding the bones, and mix meat and sauce together thoroughly. Return to oven and cook, covered, until sauce is simmering, about 30 minutes more.

Fifteen minutes before goat is done, wrap 2 stacks of tortillas in foil, and set on the oven rack alongside goat. Serve goat with warm tortillas and a smattering of accompaniments, like sliced radishes, queso fresco, salsa verde, shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro, chopped onion, and lime wedges. 

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