MEAT RECIPES

Retsina Braised Shoulder of Goat with Whipped Feta

March 13, 2016

Retsina Braised Shoulder of Goat with Whipped Feta

I sit here stroking my weary ribs, which have only just stopped jiggling after I read your comments on my food confessions post. It seems that we’re all secretly hoofing back corned beef and salad cream sandwiches, washed down with buckets of instant coffee (mainly to annoy people with beards, apparently). There’s a time and a place though, guys. Just been dumped? Grab the Cheesestrings. Hungover? Anything goes, frankly – the world is your pickled onion Monster Munch cheese toastie (worth a try?).

Sunday lunch though, that’s sacred turf. One cannot be messing around with Gregg’s steak slices and cheap Cheddar on the Official Day of Long, Slow Cooking.

Goat is now becoming more mainstream in the UK, not found only in Caribbean takeaways. It’s not that easy to get down here in Peckham or Brixton actually, with most places selling you mutton instead. In the past couple of years we’ve seen dedicated suppliers like Cabrito become known, and Turner and George are selling goat from Tailored Goat Company (based in Cumbria), which is how I got hold of this shoulder.

It’s a fantastic meat, with a flavour not unlike mutton (hence the substitution), but without that ‘slightly high’ kiff you often get with lamb. The best way to cook a shoulder is to braise it in liquid for around 4 hours (I once tried to cook it entirely on the BBQ – total cock up, it’s too lean), after which time you’ll have meat tender enough to pull apart.

Retsina braised goat with whipped feta

We decided to go Greek, and it went into a roasting tray with garlic, onions, about ten bay leaves (I’m all for silly amounts of bay) and half a bottle of retsina, which we had to beg off the staff at a local restaurant who thought we were the council trying to stitch them up. It’s a classic ‘stick it in the oven and forget about it’ job, with serious springtime Mediterranean vibes.

We ate it with toasted pitta, a salad of blood orange and olives (Greek, obvs), some quick pickled red onions, and Feta which I whipped up because that is what we do with Feta now, don’t ya know. It turns into a sort of fluffy paste when mixed with cream cheese or yoghurt, great for spreading inside little goat-y sandwiches. They really do take some bleating.

SORRY.

Retsina Braised Shoulder of Goat with Whipped Feta

This method looks long but every stage is about as simple as it gets. I reckon this would easily serve 6 people. It kept us going for a week… more on that soon. 

1 x 2.5kg shoulder of goat
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 head of garlic, cut in half
2 onions, peeled and roughly sliced
10 bay leaves
1/2 bottle retsina (standard wine bottle size)

Preheat the oven to 160C. Place the shoulder on top of the onions in a roasting tray and rub with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add everything else to the tray, cover with foil and cook for 4 hours, or until very tender.

For the blood orange salad:

3 blood oranges, segmented
10 kalamata olives
Soft lettuce
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey

Mix olive oil, lemon juice and honey in a jar. Add salt and pepper. Put lid on and shake until combined. Set aside. To assemble the salad, mix the orange segments, olives and lettuce and mix with a enough of the dressing to coat.

For the whipped feta:

140g feta cheese
80g cream cheese
Parsley, chopped

Crumble the feta into a food processor and blend. Add cream cheese and blend again. Taste and season with pepper, garnish with parsley.

For the quick pickled red onions:

1 red onion, finely sliced
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Large pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together and leave to pickle. Stir occasionally.

Serve the goat with toasted pitta breads and the rest of the bits and pieces.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Gordon Barkaway March 21, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Good to see the shoutout for Turner & George.

    We’ve been buying meat from them every month or so as a treat for a few years now and have never been disappointed. The weekend burger and bun combo is excellent, the beef, lamb and pork always reliable and the “cheap” cuts are fun to experiment with. We had our first goat shoulder last month and cooked it pretty much like yours but with a North African rather than a Greek twist; very yummy it was too.

    Best wishes Helen from a longstanding (and harmless!) lurker.

    • Helen Graves
      Reply Helen Graves March 22, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Hi Gordon, and thanks for your first comment! I think the quality of their meat is fantastic too, and I’ll be using them a lot more from now one. I can’t believe how many meals we had from that shoulder of goat, something I’m just about to write about in fact.

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