Archive for April 3rd, 2011

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

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.