Thursday, January 20, 2011

2011 is the year of GOAT: Milk, Meat, Cheese

Goat is ready for the spotlight. Making appearances everywhere from high-end restaurants to street food carts, goat meat and dairy products are being lauded as the next big thing. From the prolific duo Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough comes Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese (Stewart, Tabori & Chang; April 2011; U.S. $29.95/Can. $35.95; ISBN: 978-1-58479-905-4), a lusciously illustrated collection of recipes and anecdotes all centered on this ubiquitous and versatile food.

It’s the world’s primary meat, but still largely a mystery to the average home cook. It’s kosher; it’s good for the environment; it’s tasty and lean. The most comprehensive and accessible cookbook on the subject, Goat will revolutionize the way American cooks think about “these bearded head-butters.” With recipes such as Pan-Roasted Chops with Blackberries and Sage; Braised Meatballs with Artichokes and Fennel; Chocolate-Dipped Goat Cheese Balls; and Quesadillas with Poblano Peppers, Goat Cheese, and Mango Chutney, this book is sure to become the must-have resource for this new frontier.

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough have written more than twenty cookbooks, including the bestselling Ultimate cookbook series that started with The Ultimate Ice Cream Book. They are columnists for and writers for Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, and the Washington Post, among others. They will be touring in CA, TX, and the Northeast. Contact me ( for bookings. Check out their recent TV appearances on “The Today Show” and “The View” here:

From Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese:
Pan-Roasted Chops with Blackberries and Sage

Bruce calls this technique sear-and-shove: Sear the chops in a hot skillet, then shove the skillet into a hot oven. Make sure your skillet is oven safe, preferably cast iron or heavy stainless steel. And with no wooden or plastic handles. I once left a dish towel wrapped around a skillet’s handle after I’d shoved the thing into the oven. You know, firemen are the nicest people.

1 tablespoon goat butter (or unsalted cow butter, if you must)
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves
1 pound goat loin chops or rib chops, each about 1/2 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
1/4 cup whole goat milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fat, sweet fresh blackberries
1 small shallot, minced
A crunchy baguette
2 tablespoons dry white wine or dry vermouth

1. Set the rack in the center of the oven. Fire up the oven to 400˚F (205˚C).
2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Season the chops with the salt and pepper, then slip them into the skillet. Brown for 2 minutes, shaking the skillet to loosen them up.
3. Turn the chops and shove the skillet into the oven. Roast until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center of one of the chops registers 140˚F (60˚C) (Bruce’s recommendation) or 145˚F (63˚C) (the USDA’s), 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Remembering that the skillet is ridiculously hot, remove it from the oven, set it over medium heat again, and transfer the chops to a serving platter or individual serving plates.
5. Stir the minced shallot into the skillet and cook just until soft, probably less than 1 minute. Add the sage and cinnamon; stir until aromatic, about 15 seconds. Now pour in the wine or vermouth. As it boils, scrape up any browned bits in the skillet. The amount of liquid is tiny; it will boil instantly. Work fast.
6. Pour in the milk and drop in the blackberries. Bring to a full boil and cook for 1 minute, or just until somewhat reduced. Check for salt, then ladle this sauce over the chops. Tear the baguette into pieces so that some can accidentally fall into the sauce as you eat the chops.

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