You’ll Be Maaaaaaaad About Goat If You Follow This Chef’s Recipe
As the host of the Goats and Soda blog, I wanted to learn a little bit more about goats.
At the top of my list: How do you cook goat meat?
hat’s the question I put to Kevin Onyona, who cooks goat at the Swahili Village restaurant in Beltsville, Md. The Kenyan-born chef was also in charge of preparing the goat stew served up at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival earlier this summer, as part of the Kenya exhibits.
"Goat, it is easy to mess up," he told me. "It’s a very tough meat if you don’t get it right. You gotta break down that meat, and you got to give it love."
And you’ve got to take your time. “If you rush goat, just forget it,” Onyona said.
So throwing a hunk of goat on a grill is not enough. For soft, succulent goat, Onyona bakes the meat after grilling it, to break down the sinewy muscle even further. He also adds salt, pepper and meat tenderizer.
ut at the Folklife Festival, Onyona was serving stewed goat. And for that, he devotes a couple of hours of cooking.
First, he boils chunks of goat meat for about an hour, with “a lot of water,” he says. You don’t want to keep adding water during the 2 1/2-hour cooking time, or that’ll interfere with the seasoning of the meat. So fill that pot to the brim at the start. Onyona also puts chunks of goat bone in the mix, for added flavor. And garlic.
Should the pot be covered?
"Covered, uncovered, whatever!" he says.
After about half an hour, Onyona adds his seasonings: cumin, curry, cardamon, the Indian spice combo known as garam masala. “There’s a very strong Indian presence in Kenya,” he says, “and a lot of exchange in seasonings.”
Photo: That goat meat had better be swimming in water for a nice, long simmer, says Kevin Onyona. Spices and vegetables will be tossed in later. (Ryan Kellman/NPR)