Saturday 23 January, 2016 by Uncle Spike
I was asked by Janey In Mersin (an Aussie expat in southern Turkey) about my method of creating that slow-cooked goat stew we scoffed on our New Year’s Eve. Well, it was nothing special, and as usual there was no recipe – I never bother, too lazy or rebellious I guess.
So here it is, from memory… so bear with me. It was just an experiment (as with all my cooking), but it worked a treat, I have to admit. Not having thought about blogging the event, I have no step-by-step photo’s to share I’m afraid.
It was a chunk of lower goat’s leg that a neighbour gave us at Kurban Bayram (that’s our Sacrifice Festival, or Eid al-Adha), which last fell on 23 September 2015. The leg was in a carrier bag, and thrown into the chest freezer and there it stayed.
For New Year’s Eve, one of us had the bright idea of digging said bone from the depths of the freezer, and seeing what we could do with it. Once defrosted, it was difficult to see what meat was there – not a lot, but worth a try.
I found our large(ish) ceramic-lined iron pot we use, and surmised the leg was far too big; but a simple swipe with a butchers cleaver did the trick – nothing fancy. A few bits of meat/sinew/fat of dubious nature, perhaps less favoured for culinary purposes, were removed and added to Bonzo’s pot (he had a special NYE meal too that way)
In a large stainless steel bowl, I mixed up a brew of half a cup of olive oil (of course), salt, ground in some black pepper, a tablespoon of Moroccan harissa, a teaspoon of cumin, plenty of dried mountain organo from Greece (we stock up each visit- slightly different aroma to ours), some of our own dried black basil, two onions cut into 1cm cubes, five sliced-up cloves of garlic, two cubed potatoes, a handful of cubed swede and a handful of cherry tomatoes – both from the freezer (bags of home produce is handy when looking for stuff to fill a pot) 🙂
I then hand-mixed that into a rather nice mess. Then I added the goat chunks into the cooking pot, and threw on the spiced veg mix. More getting messy with smothered the bones/meat with everything by hand until it resembled probably the ultimate gastronomical delight for Bonzo.
As a final touch, I poured on 400ml of tap water; didn’t bother mixing it, and placed the pot, with its lid firmly in place, direct into a pre-heated gas fan oven @ 180C (or 350F in old money). After the one hour kickstart, I then simply turned it down to 110C (230F) for another five hours.
When I eventually took the lid off, the bones had dry ends. Holding carefully with burned fingers, I found a table fork could very easily strip the meat from the bone. I was amazed how much was actually on those bones (which weren’t exactly bulging to start with – being the lower leg section of one of our mountain goats).
Oh yes, the presentation…. take the lid off, take to the table, take photo, and scoff… My bit was a sinch; but the rest of the New Year’s Eve table had taken rather more effort, mostly by the boss. So to complete the picture, here’s a picture; the table. And as for the goat, wow, rather pleasing; and certainly beats the usual goatly offering.