Friday, November 11, 2011

Cooking with Goat Meat

One of the many benefits to raising your own animals is getting to enjoy a variety of recipes you would not normally adventure out and try!

I love to cook, especially meals that are challenging to me :)  Lily and I have mastered making potstickers out of freshly ground pork chops, chopped onion, carrots, and celery - and seasoned with chili oil, fresh ginger, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.  This is one of our families favorite meals.

Lately I have been cooking with goat meat.  This tender, flavorful meat was intimidating at first but after consulting some cooking science books and chatting with one of my friends that cooks with lamb and goat often I cooked two meals that everyone really enjoyed.  I made goat curry and goat chili.

For the goat curry I followed and added to a recipe my friend gave me.  She recommended two seasonings -Trader Joe's Curry Powder and Penzeys Forward! spices. 

Goat Curry
In my slow cooker:
2-3 lb of goat meat (I used steak cuts but it would have been better to use a roast)
2 T of Penzeys Spices*
1 T of Trader Joe's Curry Powder*
1/2 c browned onion
1 or 2 cans of tomato sauce depending on how much meat you have
Cook this for several hours (4-5 atleast) until the meat easily pulls apart
Then saute celery and mushrooms - I like my celery crisp for added texture to balance the soft meat
Add salt and pepper to taste

We put this over white rice but it would be great on mashed potatoes or brown rice too.  I topped it off with sour cream and my homemade salsa. 

*These seasonings have several spices such as turmeric and cinnamon that contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.  Turmeric is known to slow the growth of many types of cancer cells and there is many research studies regarding the use of turmeric in cancer treatment.  So try to get as much turmeric in you diet as possible!

Goat Chili
Again in my slow cooker I soaked
1 c kidney beans
2 c red beans
overnight in about 6 cups of water.  I drained the water and rinsed the beans then added enough water to cover the beans plus about 2 inches above.
I cooked the beans for about 4-5 hours until they were tender and added
1 lb cooked ground goat with
1 T Penzeys Forward! spice 
2 T garlic powder and
1/4 c of chili powder cooked together to infuse the seasonings into the meat
then add
1/2 sauted onion in chili oil
1 can of tomato paste
to the beans and let it simmer for about an hour

We topped it with cheddar cheese and sour cream along side our cornbread!

Let me know if you try any of these recipes


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to Render Our Pork Fat

Rendering lard is the process of heating pork fat slowly to separate the fat from any pork pieces. 

What you need:

1.       1 or 2 pounds of pork lard.  Leaf lard is best for pie crusts and back fat is excellent for frying.

2.       A large pot or commercial slower cooker

3.       Wooden Spoon and ladle

4.       Water

5.       Colander and cheesecloth

6.       Storage containers such as mason  jars

What to do:

1.       Defrost lard and cut into small pieces.  Remove kidney if still attached.

2.       Add ¼ c of water per pound of fat and then add the pork fat to the pot or cooker and let it heat for about an hour on medium high.

3.       You may want to turn on a vent or open a window.

4.       After about an hour stir the fat and make sure it doesn’t start to burn.  As the fat melts it will begin to crackle and separate from the pork bits.  Be careful not to get burned from the popping fat.

5.       Now stir every ten minutes until all the bits have crackled and separated from the fat and sink to the bottom of the pot.  

6.       Be sure not to leave your lard too long or it will burn and have a pork flavor.

7.       Let the lard cool slightly and pour through a colander lined with cheesecloth.  Pork bits are still soft and can be fried for use as salad toppings, etc.

8.       The melted pork fat can then be ladled into your storage containers and will remain slightly yellow until it solidifies as it cools.  Store in refrigerator or freezer.

I hope you enjoy farm fresh lard for all your baking and frying needs!  Let me know if you have any questions regarding this process.