Goat Soup

One of my favorite foods while living in Greece was goat soup. We would usually have it in winter, or in spring, when the just-born baby goats would get slaughtered en masse for Easter, or for their still-tender meat. Nevertheless, it was yummy. It’s a traditional dish in Epirus, the mountainous region of Greece I’m coming from. Others have spotted this Epirus dish too while on their Greek vacations. We’re lucky to be living close to a Mediterranean shop, so when JBQ spotted some goat meat there we jumped at the opportunity. I believe this was the first time I cooked goat in the 10 years living in the US.

Update: Wow! I searched long and hard online to find another authentic Epirus goat soup recipe, and I found none! In Epirus we even have restaurants that seasonally only offer goat soup, so not finding anything online about it was surely a surprise. I only found a Cretan version with tomato instead (Andy Milonakis‘ dad cooks that version apparently).

Ingredients (for 2)
* 1/2 lb (250 gr) of goat stew meat
* 1 large golden potato (on Paleo use turnips/rutabaga or kohlrabi)
* 1 branch of Utah celery (or a bunch, for Amsterdam celery)
* 2 medium-to-large carrots
* 1 small zucchini
* 1/4 bell pepper (optional)
* 1/2 of a large onion
* 1 large, juicy lemon
* 3-4 tbspoons of olive oil
* freshly grounded black pepper
* salt

Execution
1. Wash the goat meat well under running water. In a deep stock pot add 4-5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the meat and continue boiling, uncovered. Using a spoon remove and discard the “foam” that surfaces from the boiling meat. Boil in medium heat for 15 minutes if the goat is young, or up to 45 minutes if the goat is old (old goat meat looks more “rough”). When done, using a colander, discard the water.
2. Chop the onion. Slice the zucchini. In the deep stock pot now add the olive oil, and the chopped onion. Under high heat, start browning the onion, and then add the goat meat, and a minute later add the zucchini. Stir occasionally. When the meat is browned, add 5-6 cups of water. Add more water if the goat is old and requires more cooking time. Cook under medium heat, covered.
3. Half-way through the cooking process, using your wooden stirring utensil try to mash the zucchini a bit. Then add the sliced carrots, sliced celery, and the chopped optional bell pepper. Add salt, and ground the black pepper. Use more pepper than usual.
4. Fifteen to twenty minutes before you remove from heat, add the peeled, washed, and chunked potato.
5. Ten minutes before you remove from heat, squeeze the lemon’s juice. Alternatively, you can wash the lemon, cut it half, and add it face down in the stew to cook with. Remove it from the pot before serving. Cooking time is varied, it’s until you get the consistency shown in the pictures, and when the meat is tender (usually it’s less than an hour’s time for young goat meat). Serve hot, optionally with more black pepper and some lemon wedges for those who like extra-bitter soups.

6 Comments »

Jim wrote on April 4th, 2011 at 5:15 PM PST:

Now, I am looking for some goat meat to try this soup.

I have to laugh sometimes Eugenia, when you mention people over 50 that like CSI. I am 57 and I like CSI very much except Los Vegas used to be my favorite and now it bores the tears out of me. It used to have something or maybe with so many cast members leaving, I just don’t get the sense of family the original cast did. Seems like now it is more about the individuals, than the interaction of a team.
Seems like a good time to make some goat soup and watch one of the sci fi shows you like on netflix which I learned about thru you.


Ivan wrote on April 5th, 2011 at 10:48 AM PST:

hm… I hate the idea that baby goats must be slaughtered for us to eat. The human race can be so cruel. No offence, I’m a meat eater myself, but prefer to buy the meat already processed…


Dominique wrote on April 5th, 2011 at 10:52 AM PST:

that soup looks mouthwateringly good.
I will try it…


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 5th, 2011 at 11:03 AM PST:

>I hate the idea that baby goats must be slaughtered for us to eat. […] prefer to buy the meat already processed.

Processed or unprocessed, some baby goat has to die anyway. Old goat meat is difficult to cook (as mentioned in the blog post), and it’s somewhat hard and smelly, so only baby goats (== a few months old) are usually sold. Goat meat is the primary red meat source for Greeks and other Mediterranean cultures. Lamb is more expensive, and beef more so. In fact, we have very few cows in Greece. It’s mostly goats we have, since our vegetation is favored by goats the most.


Yanni Papadopoulos wrote on April 6th, 2011 at 6:31 AM PST:

I’m Greek, and I shun having to kill baby goats for food. Surely, the Greeks have other sources of meat (fish and fowl for example). It is downright cruel and wrong to slaughter baby goats. Come on my fellow Greeks… let’s use the great ethical insight our highly intelligent forefathers had! Sheesh!


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 6th, 2011 at 9:59 AM PST:

Fish is only available in the islands and near the coast. I’m coming from the mountains, where there’s none. Yes, there are chickens, but people like red meat too.

Besides, when you buy lamb in any market in the world, you still buy baby lamb, same age as the baby goats. Greeks do nothing different than any other culture does.

So just because this blog post called it as it is, doesn’t mean ya all have to get up in arms. Look after you own countries first, then we can deal with the Greeks. Who are in bad-enough financials right now to not also want to be told what they can eat and what they can’t.


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