A leg of goat meat made it into the entree ingredient basket on last Sunday’s all-stars finale of “Chopped” on Food Network. Is that another sign that the meat has Arrived, at last, in America? (Were we buying sunchokes before they were shopped for during past seasons of “Top Chef”?)
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough delivered unique goat-meat recipes in tomorrow’s Food section that are not in their new book, “Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011). Weeks ago, during recipe testing, I just about drove my colleagues crazy with tales of goat meat sleuthing and samples of various dishes.
We took photos of various cuts (you can find the gallery of them on the Food homepage); after I dispensed the good parts to some goat-meat-loving pals in the newsroom, I was left with several pounds of meaty bones. The authors said they’d be perfect for making ragu, and boy, were they right.
The recipe below is from their new book. Red wine and spices are used with subtlety, and the goat becomes as tender as any meat I’ve simmered into submission. With a few hours’ cooking, shreds of velvety meat fell off the bone, and the bones further flavored the sauce. I removed dem bones before serving.
Goat Ragu With Pappardelle
There's no milk in this silky ragu, which sets it apart from traditional versions.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/4 pounds boneless goat shoulder meat or other goat stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks (may substitute 3 to 5 pounds of meaty goat bones, roasted)
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry red wine
3 1/2 cups canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups low-sodium or no-salt-added chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 pounds fresh pappardelle pasta, cooked and drained per package directions (may substitute 1 pound dried pappardelle)
Aged goat cheese, such as a hard cheese or a house-aged crottin, for garnish
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the goat chunks, in batches as necessary to avoid crowding the pot. Brown them on all sides for 7 minutes or so per batch. Some dark brown blotches are a good thing.
Transfer all of the goat pieces to a bowl or platter, then add the onion to the pot. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often, until it softens. Stir in the garlic, allspice, coriander, fennel seeds and salt. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring.
Add the wine; use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits in the pot. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the wine has been reduced by half.
Add the tomatoes and broth, then stir in the sage. Return the goat pieces and any of their accumulated juices to the pot.
Once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low or low; cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone and meltingly tender.If your ragu seems thin, uncover the pot and increase the heat to medium or medium-high; cook at a steady boil for 5 minutes to thicken. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
To serve, ladle a little of the ragu into a large serving bowl. Top with the cooked pappardelle, in a nest-like mound. Then pour the rest of the ragu on top.
Grate a little of the hard goat cheese over the whole bowl.