Contains: Nightshades, alcohol. Is: Gluten-free, grain-free, paleo.
One can substitute out the alcohol if desired. The alcohol will cook off, but I understand not everyone wants to have this in their food. Although you can skip the potatoes (nightshade), perhaps adding turnips instead?, the spice mix known as Baharat has paprika as an essential ingredient – from peppers, a nightshade.
I obtained a bone-in goat shoulder at a local farmer’s market, and saved it up for when a friend and I could get together to dine on it. The weather was pleasant enough (at the mid-sixties F) that we dined out on my deck, overlooking the chicken coops, and what remained of fall foliage. A lovely afternoon! (We are actually having a very nice run of a week here, weather-wise.)
Note: you can use this recipe interchangeably with lamb shoulder. I best describe the taste of goat as being somewhere between lamb and beef. It is by far my favorite domesticated mammal for the dinner table. Unfortunately, here in the States it is usually only found in very localized markets.
This is not a meal for fine dining, due to the bones in this cut – but the bones are what make this extra tasty, and I reserve them after, for stock. (Which will be combined with lamb bones when the time comes.) One can also reserve any extra wads of fat, if you have those, to render down. Once done, you can use it as you would any cooking fat.
This dish was made with potatoes and onion. For sides, we had roasted “infant” eggplant, fennel, and radish, along with steamed beet greens with butter. (My friend made plum torts for dessert.)
I am adding in a post for the accompanying roasted vegetable side. It will appear shortly after this one uploads. (It’s here now!!!)
As for the beet greens, harvested from my own garden, they are best steamed for 5 – 7 minutes, with a splash of apple cider vinegar and a serving (at the table) of salted butter. Simple enough they don’t get their own post, but tasty enough to be another anchor for a meal.
So, let’s get down to business!
Rest Time: 15-20 minutes.
Cuisine: Middle Eastern.
Middle Eastern Style Goat Shoulder
- 1 medium sized goat shoulder, bone in. (I forgot to weigh it but the principles are the same through this dish. Ingredients do NOT need precise measurements here.)
- 1.5 tablespoons Baharat spice mix (mine, made by that friend mentioned above, was salt-free).
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder.
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt for the rub (if your Baharat mixture doesn’t have salt).
- 1 cup chicken or poultry stock. Homemade is best but whatever you have. Low sodium if you purchase it.
- 1/2 cup red wine, preferably dry. (Sub with water and a splash of red vinegar if you rather not use alcohol.)
- 5 or six medium-sized plums, cut in half and de-seeded.
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into large chunks.
- 1 whole lemon, sliced thinly (so you can poke out the seeds).
- 5 – 6 small/medium-sized potatoes. (I seriously prefer Yukon Golds.) Peel if they are Russets, otherwise they are best left unpeeled – although cut out any eyes or bad bits. Chop into approximately half-inch wide segments. Length may vary – the idea is for them to cook through the widths.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Thaw the meat overnight, as well as any home-made chicken stock. Pat dry the goat shoulder.
Make slices into the fat cap (which you will keep on the shoulder) about an inch (2.5 centimeters) apart, going deep. Remove other extraneous pieces of surface fat. (You may reserve for future goat fat rendering.)
In a small condiment bowl, mix together the Baharat, garlic powder and salt.
Rub all over the shoulder, all sides, and into the fat cap slices that you have made. Set aside to absorb from two hours to overnight in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
While marinating with the dry rub, prepare your onion, plum and lemon. I also add salt as indicated to my chicken stock – since mine was home-made and in my case I do NOT add salt to my stock when making it, as I prefer to decide what is needed when creating specific meals – I did need to adjust and add some (about 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt). For a low-sodium supermarket stock, you probably don’t need to add much at all. (And it can be adjusted further at the table.)
Now, heat up a good skillet to medium/medium high. Place the previously-rubbed goat shoulder on its fat cap side into the skillet. Sear for 4-5 minutes on this side, or until some of the fat liquifies and helps coat the skillet bottom, and this side browns.
Sear all the other sides, even edges. 2-3 minutes should be sufficient on all those sides – you want to see browning but not burning.
Place the shoulder in a suitable baking pan with enough room for the further ingredients.
Add the chicken broth, the wine (if using, or else water with a bit of vinegar – or even more broth!), salt and pepper, chunks of onion. Drape the plum sections over the shoulder. Squeeze about half the lemon over the shoulder, and allow the remaining rind to cook with this dish. Scatter the other slices of lemon over the shoulder.
Cook uncovered for 1.5 hours.
Cover loosely at this point, with foil or other appropriate cover.
At two hours of cooking time, add the potatoes to the sides of the baking pan. Add a dash of salt and ground pepper at this point. Re-cover and continue to cook.
Somewhere between3 and 3.5 hours, you should be done. (If you really want carnitas-style shredability, go to 4-4.5 hours. I did not.)
When you pull the braised shoulder out at 3 or 3.5 hours, cover it with foil to rest. This may be a good time to cook your sides, depending on what yours are. Rest for about 15-20 minutes.
Serve on a platter and recognize that shoulder bones won’t cut around themselves evenly, so you’ll have some punting to do here. Which is why… this cut isn’t up and ready for Prime Time Fine Dining. Do allow you and your family/fast friends to gnaw on bones and simply enjoy themselves. Not every meal plating has to be picture perfect…
What I might do next time!
- I want to try preserved lemon instead of a regular lemon.
- I think adding additional Baharat to the potatoes when they are added to the braise is a plan.
THIS POST IS SHARED AT:
- Full Plate Thursday
- Fiesta Friday, and, cohost this week is Laurena @ Life Diet Health
- What’s for Dinner, Sunday Link-Up.
- Farm Fresh Tuesdays.
NOTE: My blog name came from my long-term desire to raise both goats and a variety of vegetables. I succeeded on the Greens part of this!