Since before Biblical times, goats may have been the most useful of domesticated animals, producing milk (for drinking or for cheese), gourmet meat (kid), leather and fiber for clothing.
Goat meat is relished and highly priced in many parts of the world, as cabrito by Spanish, chevreau by French people, and also favored by Greek, Moslem, Jews, Arabs, Mexican, Puerto Ricans...
Goat Meat Cookery
A young goat. Only the very young males (four-six weeks to four months old) are slaughtered for meat, as the females are reserved for milk productions. They are available from mid-March until the beginning of May. "Easter kids" should weigh about 25 to 30 lbs.
The meat is tender, juicy, very lean and tasty at this age, similar to that of milk lamb. It is genereally eaten roasted or marinated, sometimes even smoked and dried (in the mountains).
The male is today eaten only when a kid, but for centuries, in spite of its leathery flesh and pungent smell, it was a basic meat for the poor (the word boucherie - butcher's chop - is derived from bouc).
Goats'meat can be fairly firm, with a pleasant flavour but a strong smell. It looses easily moisture and can toughen quickly due to low fat content if it is exposed to high, dry cooking temperatures.
Whole Roasted Kid (Goat) - Cabrito assado a padeiro
Flavors of Portugal
Total time: more than 2 hours
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes per kg
An original recipe from Maria Lourdes Santos of the Restaurant Beira Mar in Cascais
The animal can be cut up or cooked whole. In the latter case, the offal is left in the carcass while cooking and then served separately.
The head is cut in half lengthwise to remove the brains with a spoon.
Serve with lemon wedges.
There are other versions in which the butter is replaced with olive oil and the white wine with red. Fans of baked potatoes can slide them into the oven at the same time as the kid.
- 1 Kid, about 4 kg (9 lb.)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- A few meat bones
- 2 sliced onions
- 2 carrots, sliced into rounds
- 200 + 200 ml (3/4 + 3/4 cup) white wine
- A knob of lard or butter
- 8 potatoes, peeled and quartered or 16 new potatoes
- 1 tbsp. coarse sea salt
1. crush the garlic cloves in a mortar with the peppercorns and bay leaf;
2. add the salt, butter or lard; rub the kid with this mixture;
3. place the kid in the center of a large ovenproof dish; place all the ingredients around, except the second 200 ml of wine;
4. place in a medium oven and cook until done, basting often; turn halfway through;
5. remove from the oven; degrease the juice and remove the meat bones;
6. add the final 200 ml white wine and reduce by half; serve the sauce on the side.