Capra Basata nello Stile di Moresco
I’m back and the Kitchens are once again open. Zia and I thank you all for your kind words and well wishes. She sends her warm regards. She, also, sent me home with a few new recipes — octopus and quail are at the top of that list — and I’ll be sharing them in the weeks to come.
Of course, we did buy our share of honey, over 4 gallons between the two of us. Although I brought home 2.25 gallons (8.5 l), almost all went to my neighbors for distribution among their family members. The “Honey Man”, Mr. Falkenberg, has about 100 hives and they produce enough honey for him to sell it in some of that area’s markets, as well as during not one but two weekends this year. He also sold apples, grapes, and black walnuts. I bought a 5 pound bucket of grapes for $2.00 and used them to make grape jelly yesterday. The apples were used to make apple sauce and my Zia Mariolla’s apple cake. That recipe will be shared in the near future.
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(Click to enlarge any photo)
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I’ve mentioned in the past that my family prepared goat, very often at Easter. As the years past, we relied more upon lamb for that holiday meal and I cannot tell you the last time I enjoyed goat in any form. Worse yet, I had no idea where I might purchase some. Well, that all changed a few weeks ago. I didn’t realize it but the vendor at the farmers market from whom I buy organic chicken also sells a variety of meats, goat being among them. Although I couldn’t buy any at the time, I knew I’d be back to purchase some. And that’s the last I’ve seen of that vendor. For whatever reason, they are no longer at the farmers market. Not only did I lose my long sought-after source for fresh goat meat but I lost my organic chicken vendor, too.
Well, returning home after the third week of the vendor’s absence, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I pulled the car to the curb and googled, “Where to buy goat in Chicago?” Lo and behold! Just about a half-mile from my home, there’s a Middle Eastern grocery and butcher. It’s one block West of the Indian market where I buy spices and I’ve walked past it any number of times. Within minutes, I was on my way with a goat shoulder wrapped in brown paper.
Once home and after a quick web search, I settled upon a great recipe. Unfortunately, it required harissa and I didn’t have a recipe for the sauce nor did I feel like experimenting. So, I did what I often do. I went to the Middle East Bakery & Grocery, a little gem of a store located in my old neighborhood. As luck would have it, they make their own harissa on-site and it’s good enough to be used in a number of the restaurants in town.
So, with a goat shouder on the counter, harissa in-hand, and a jar of preserved lemons hiding out in the back of my fridge, I set about making braised goat — but with one major difference. The original recipe uses a dutch oven to braise the roast, slowly, in the oven. When I finally bought the meat, Summer had returned to this area with a vengeance, I wasn’t about to turn on my oven for anything, let alone a long and slow braise. Instead, I pulled out the slow cooker and my kitchen kept its cool. This is the version described in the recipe below.
Oh! One more thing. I will be bringing some goat with me to Michigan next time so that I can learn and share my family’s recipe for roasting it. Get ready, Zia!
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Goat in the Moorish Style Recipe
- 1 cup harissa for marinade
- 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cilantro stems – that’s right, I’m using cilantro
- 2 cups low/no sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp honey
- the rind from half of a preserved lemon, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- harissa for serving
- Greek yogurt for serving
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- With a very sharp knife, remove gray skin from the meat. Season with salt & pepper.
- Place meat in a large, seal-able plastic bag, add the harissa and completely coat the meat. Place the bag and contents in the fridge overnight. Turn bag over every couple of hours. Remove from fridge 1 hour before cooking is to begin.
- Heat oil over med-high heat in a medium sauté pan. Add onions, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick, sautéing until soft and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, place stock, white wine, and honey in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, and then keep warm over a very low flame.
- Once the vegetables have been sautéed, dump that pan’s contents into the slow cooker. Add the cilantro and stir.
- Place the goat meat atop the vegetables, Be sure to include any remaining harissa left in the bag.
- Pour the wine mixture around the roast in the slow cooker. Cover and set to “Low”.
- Turn the roast after 1 hour, and then again every 2 hours after. Roast will be cooked in 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, remove roast to a dish and cover. Strain the pan juices, discarding the braising vegetables. Set aside to allow the fat to separate and then remove.
- See Serving Suggestions below
Inspired by a recipe in the NY Times.
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1) Once cooked, the roast can be carved and served as-is. Sprinkle with the preserved lemon. Suggested accompaniments would be rice, yogurt, and a bit of harissa on the side. The sauce can be reduced to the thickness of your choice. Check for seasoning before serving on the side.
2) Debone the cooked roast and treat it as you would pulled pork. Return in to the slow cooker. Add the preserved lemon and mix thoroughly. Reduce the sauce to the desired thickness and either add it to the pulled goat or serve on the side.
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It’s déjà vu all over again …
About a year ago, I posted a recipe for plum cobbler that I jokingly called “magical.” What I didn’t know, but learned while I was visiting Zia, was that the recipe contained a typo. Instead of listing “1 TBSP baking powder”, I had written “1 TSP baking powder.” Big difference, no? I’ve since corrected the recipe and please make sure you do the same if you’ve made a copy for yourself.
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Coming soon to a monitor near you …
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