For those of you who have never had goat products, I highly encourage you to try them! Everything from goat milk, to goat cheese, to goat meat, is delicious and pretty darn good for you. Goat cheese lasagna is absolutely fabulous, sharper and earthier than any ricotta ever will be, and it makes a great spread for toast or bruschetta. Pairs nicely with roasted sweet potato, beets, and on fresh green salads.
Goats milk is naturally homogenized, which means it doesn’t separate into the “cream” and skim milk, as natural cow’s milk does. The cow milk you buy in the store is one homogenous mixture because of the homogenization process; essentially putting such high pressure on the milk to shoot it through tiny tubes that fat globules break up into itty-bitty uniform pieces that no longer clump together and float to the surface.
Fun fact: baby goats are called kids. So when a goat has a baby, it’s just kidding!
Lame jokes aside, goats are delicious, and also good for the environment. They naturally think some of our worst plant enemies, like poison ivy & thistles, are delicious treats. They can even be used as a carbon-neutral landscaping option! (No seriously, you can rent goats to trim your lawn and get rid of unwanted greenery). As a final bonus, goat manure is odorless, can be directly applied to soil without composting, does not contain seeds, and is richer in nitrogen than that of cows or horses.
Ok, so goats are good at eating bad vegetation. How do they compare to cows and other meat producers? A similarly sized serving of goat meat has a third fewer calories than beef, a quarter fewer calories than chicken and much less fat, and up to two-thirds less than a similar sized portion of pork or lamb (source). They are browsers, not grazers, and a field can handle nearly ten times more goats than cows.
If the “gamey” taste and smell of what you think goat meat is turns you off, you may have had a bad experience. Some cultures prize older, tougher bucks, which are known to have that ‘barnyard’ smell about them. Give a local supplier a chance to show you what a younger cut is like, and you may completely change your mind.
So these little guys are totally adorable, extremely useful, and then completely delicious while also quite healthy for you. What are you waiting for?? Check out a local farmers market, or halal butcher, and find some goat near you.
I found Blue Slope Farm at the farmer’s market in CT. The proprietor, Matt, was there and he was very kind and helpful. He runs a working farm with cows, goats, and a maple syrup distillery. Their products are all local, they hand-raise their herd of over 200 cows each year to produce tender grass-fed veal and are branching out into goat meat. If you’re in New England check them out, they are top notch.
- 2 cuts goat shoulder chops
- 5-10 garlic cloves
- 4 tbsp spice mix of choice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine
Step 1: Drizzle the olive oil in the pan, and sprinkle spices onto chops. Place in the pan and sprinkle spices on the other side too.
Step 2: Pour in the red wine, and cover. Cook low and slow for 10-15 minutes, until browned.
Step 3: Using a sharp knife, cut holes in the meat. Press garlic cloves into the holes. Flip chops, cut holes into the other side, and fill with garlic. Cover and cook another 10-15 minutes on low.
Step 4: Remove cover, turn heat to medium-high. Let wine evaporate, and sear the meat. Once lightly charred, flip and sear the other side. Be careful not to burn badly.
Serve your delicious, sustainable, healthy chops with some fresh seasonal veggies and enjoy!