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Posts Tagged ‘goat meat’

It’s supposed to be winter here in the States, but it seems that Ma Nature is a bit confused as of late. While some of us are getting snow, others are flooding and getting sunburns. Stews, soups, and one-pot meals go right along with winter weather – when it happens properly! Here’s what our “Western” Not Dabblers have been busy preparing for our first Challenge challenge.

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Even though the weather continues mild, I’ve been enjoying doing those wintertime stick-to-your-ribs one pot meals (Okay, 4 pots, a jar and two bags). Soup, chili, lasagna, casserole. You can see from the lasagna link that I didn’t do quite as well two years ago at making it through the Dark Days from preserved foods, but this year I’ve managed, with a little help from my year-round CSA, to stay local, even with the vegetables, and at that I’ve only needed to resort to spinach, chard, and frozen peas. I made a wonderful vegetable soup in homemade chicken broth (recipe: see what you have, throw it in a pot. Simmer until yummy. I did manage to stick to just one pot for this one.) Ate it while watching the State of the Union, and I thought it appropriate that the First Lady just happened to flash on the screen as I shot this!

Meanwhile, The USDA has now officially declared Chicago to be Zone 6A– that’s a movement of four half-zones since I started gardening in the early 90s. But there’s no such thing as climate change. Or something. Just ask a gardener.

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I write this post on one of those unusually sunny Winter days in the Willamette valley. I cooked my ‘challenge’ dish on a cold and sultry day, however so i made one of those slow cooked, bubbly, warm dishes: chilly! I usually make one pot/pan meals, though the kitchen still looks like a tornado went through it when i’m done. Not sure why that happens…. Oh right, i’m a terrible house keeper and tend to be lazy AND messy. Dang. This week i got some tasty local ingredients to play with and even got out my new-to-me cast iron to make a new chicken recipe. The goat chilly/stew turned out awesome and featured local (10 minutes up the road) goat meat, homegrown/preserved tomatoes and local dried chillies (plus regular grocery store onions, dried beans and salt/seasoning). Pocket had a no-bowl meal of the same goat meat, gnawing on two neck bones for 3 days, tapping into her carnal predator and nourishing her whole body from gut to silky-soft fur.

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Here at Unearthing this Life we’ve been using up the remnants of a couple of duck that we prepared. I like to try to eat nose to tail, but can’t always get over the taste of organ meat. So when I was faced with two duck liver I thought using them in a beef stew would be a wonderful way to disguise their potential iron-y flavor.

I used up the last of the garlic I’d brought up with me from Tennessee and sautéed them with some other traditional stew veggies: carrots, potatoes, and a few leeks I’d stashed at the end of the Farmers Market in fall. The only thing that wasn’t local was the organic celery and the salt.  I got both the beef and duck from the butcher down the road who purchases all of his meat from regional farmers. Toward the end of “stewing” I added the chopped liver, hoping it would stay tender and wouldn’t fall apart. Okay, so it didn’t help the liver from tasting like iron, but it was tender.

The broth was great, the vegetables cooked perfectly, and the beef was wonderful. I think we all decided the stew was fabulous … once we each took the liver out of our bowls.

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Don’t forget to check out the One-pot meals from our Eastern participants. If you’re joining us for the Valentine’s Day sweets challenge, be sure to check out the dates for your entries!

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Since my husband and I decided we would switch our corgi, Pocket to a raw diet, we’ve done quite a bit of meat shopping. I’ve never been much of a meat eater, so the whole process is new to me, and much easier when i can find a local farmer who can give me advice and whom i can feel confident buying from. It’s especially nice when i get to see a flock of happy Boer goats watching me drive up the lane. We paid a visit to a local farm last week to pick up some meaty bones for Pocket, and some goat meat for us. Winn’s Livestock and Hatchery just north of Corvallis has affordable meat raised by a 4th generation farmer and his very friendly wife. April chatted back and forth with me via email to decide what was best for us to purchase, and we ended up with a freezer full of bones for Pock, a pound of ground goat meat for us plus a shoulder steak that i’ll cut up into stew meat in the next week or two.

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You can read more about my delicious ‘goat chilly’ at An Austin Homestead. You may be wondering about my choice of meat. Goat isn’t overly popular here in America. But guess what: it’s the most popular meat in the rest of the WORLD. There’s great reason for that: goats are small, able to graze on non-ideal pasture (read sticks and blackerberry brambles), have a relatively high dressing percentage to their body mass, and have some of the most nutritious meat of any livestock. This article has a lot to say about the boons of eating goat meat, as does this one. What you’ll find when studying about goat meat is that it has lower calories than beef (and even elk, venison and chicken!), less fat and cholesterol, and is guaranteed not to have any growth hormones added as the USDA has not approved their use. Goats are easier on the land than their big boned beefy counterparts, and can often thrive in areas that would otherwise require massive amounts of irrigation and pastureland to grow larger protein critters. Due to its leaner meat, goat DOES have to be cooked more slowly to avoid tough texture. Read more about the fat and calorie comparisons of goat meat to many other popular meats at www.elkusa.com.
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Another reason to raise goats: they’re really fun, personable and friendly. Along with my change, April came out with a 4 day old bottle baby Boer, and boy what a cutey she was! We plan on raising dairy and fiber goats, with an eye on edible breeds. Miniature Nubians have decent dressing rates, though Kinders are better. We’re only two people and a dog, so we’re less concerned with the larger amounts of meat from the bigger meat breeds. According to April some of her Boer goats can ready 300 pounds. That’s a lot of goat! Goats can be like family pets, and we can’t wait to have some around. We realize that butchering one of those cute little kids will be hard to do, but the nutritional benefits of eating homegrown and super lean meat far outweigh the sentimental drawbacks. For me at least (i’m still working on convincing the husband of that one.)

Goats!

So, with more iron, potassium and thiamine together with less sodium than other ‘traditional’ meats sold her in the USA, 50% less fat than beef, 45% less fat than lamb and 15% less fat than veal…. what reason do you have not to try goat meat for your next meal? None! Find a local farmer’s market or farm and get yourself some cabrito, chevre or goat meat. It does a body/planet good!
Read more about Miranda, Pocket and their adventures in goats and cooking at An Austin Homestead.

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