Braised Goat Shoulder with Mirepoix-Rosé Sauce

by Megg

I love summer! I love the warm weather, being able to spend time outdoors, free events all over the city, and, of course, the farmers markets! Farmers markets are such a wonderful opportunity to support local agriculture, eat with the seasons, and try new and exciting foods! I’ve always been the type to pick up ingredients I’ve never cooked, never eaten, and sometimes never even heard of… I love me a good culinary challenge! So when I saw that goat was one of the meat offerings at one of my local farmers markets, I was intrigued!

Goat is not all that foreign to most of the planet (I believe I read somewhere that it’s actually the most commonly consumed meat worldwide). Still, I’d certainly never had it. I bought a bone-in shoulder roast, and it was harder than I’d expected to find a good recipe, or any recipe at all.

I did a lot of internet searching, soon giving up on “goat” and searching for “lamb” instead. I was disheartened to find that one of my favorite food references, The Flavor Bible, didn’t have an entry for goat meat.  In the end I chose two recipes (one for goat and one for lamb), and combined them.  Spoiler alert: The results were delicious!!

Braised Goat Shoulder with Mirepoix-Rosé Sauce
—adapted from Bon Appétit and Epicurious

-One 2 - 3 lb. bone-in goat shoulder
-North African spice mixture (see below)
-2 tbsp vegetable oil
-1 1/4 cups diced peeled carrots (about 2 large carrots)
-3 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 - 1 1/2 large onions)
-1 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
-1 entire head of garlic, top cut off crosswise to expose cloves, but root end intact and skin still on
-1 fresh rosemary sprig
-1 large bay leaf
-about 1 1/3 cup (325 ml, half a 750ml bottle) of rosé wine (I used Marqués de Cáceras 2009 Rioja dry rosé )
-3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
-Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
-Sea salt (to taste)

North African Spice Mixture:
-3 tbsp coarse sea salt
-2 tsp dried oregano
-1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
-1 tsp anise seeds
-1 tsp dried dill
-1 tsp cumin seeds
-1/2 tsp ground turmeric
-2 tbsp harissa (I couldn’t find this, so I substituted a mix of smoked paprika, cayenne, and chili powder)
-1 tsp chopped garlic
-1/4 cup olive oil
-Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

1. In a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar, grind the salt, oregano, rosemary, anise, dill, cumin and turmeric into a fine powder.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the harissa and garlic.  Whisk in the olive oil until a thick paste forms.

2. Rub the spice paste over the entire goat shoulder. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.  Bring to room temperature before braising.

3. Preheat oven to 325°F.  Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat (a large cast iron pot with a lid works well).  Add goat shoulder to pot and cook until nicely browned on all sides, turning frequently, 10-15 minutes.  Remove goat from pot.

4. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary, and bay leaf to the drippings in the pot.  Sprinkle with a little freshly ground black pepper and sauté, stirring from time to time, until the veggies are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

5. Add wine and boil until most of the liquid is absorbed but vegetables are still very moist, about 12-15 minutes.  Return the goat back to the pot and add chicken broth; return to a boil.  Once boiling, cover the pot and place in oven.

6. Braise goat shoulder for about 2 - 2 1/2 hours, turning every hour and basting with pan juices. The goat is done when the meat is very tender and moist, and nearly falling off the bone.  Remove from oven.

7.  Let cool slightly, then carefully transfer goat shoulder to a plate or bowl.  Remove bay leaf and rosemary from the pot and discard.  Squeeze the garlic bulb to extract the juicy pulp and discard the root and papery skin.  Puree pan juices and vegetables in a blender (working in batches if necessary) until smooth.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

8.  Remove the goat meat from the bones (this should happen easily) and slice as desired.  Serve with mirepoix-rosé sauce and garnish with mint.

I served the goat over pearl couscous with minted braised baby artichokes.  It went great with the rosé leftover from the recipe with the meal as well.  The meat was not as close to lamb as I’d expected; it had a much lighter, more delicate flavor.  The baby artichokes were a perfect side dish.  Click here for the recipe I used, if you’re interested.

The leftovers from the goat even showed up in my bento box the next day.. Mmmmm!

If you’ve never tasted or cooked goat before, I really encourage you to try it!  I thought the braised shoulder was a great place to start, and it was pretty easy too.

If you’ve eaten or cooked goat before, leave a comment about your experiences! If you go with this recipes, let me know how it works for you. Thanks, and enjoy!

  • Bentobird

    A truly stunning post, Megg! We MUST try this work of culinary art per your wonderfully detailed instructions-thanks for sharing and happy cooking this weekend!

  • Megg

    Thank you so much, Bentobird! If you try it, let me know how it goes! You have a wonderful weekend as well!

  • Diana

    Ben's grandma makes it (thats right, southern g-ma is down with the goat!) haha, but I think yours looks more delicious. She did some rib situation that was not so divine.

  • Megg

    Haha… I wonder what goat ribs are like… that would be a rack, like a rack of lamb, right? I think they might have had those too at the farmer's market.

  • Ian Tobin

    Oh my god… you’ve got me so hungry with this one! Braising meat is probably my favorite way to cook it. And goat on top of that! Fantastic.

  • Megg (PopArtichoke)

    I too am a big, big fan of braising.. let me know if you try this.. so much fun to make!

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