Figure 1. Nigerian dwarf buck.
I am the proud owner of one Nigerian dwarf dairy goat buck. His registered name is Stage Dragon SP Chardonnay but we call him Charlie. He’s a sweetheart and just a little “bucky” this time of year. Wait until fall and stand downwind of him and you’ll know what I mean. Anyway, owning a buck is not for the faint of heart, but my children raise 4-H dairy goats and if you want milk you have to breed the does to a buck so they have kids. (Artificial insemination is a little tricky in goats and so yes, it’s easier for me to house a couple bucks.)
Figure 2. Nigerian dwarf doe and three newborn doelings.
The pairing between Charlie and my son’s doe, Dandelion, last fall resulted in 3 doelings (female baby goats) in April, but our previous pairing gave us a buckling (male baby goat). We didn’t need him as a buck so we castrated him and kept him as a wether to keep Charlie company.
When we moved to Nebraska this spring the wether went off to freezer camp. As a wether he was never registered and would have been a hassle (mostly monetary) to transport across state lines. After we moved we bought another buck to keep Charlie company and to use for breeding to Charlie’s doelings in the future.
That is the reality of livestock in the Fisk house and the children know it. We’ve raised and eaten rabbits, roosters, unfriendly chickens, and now dairy goats. Luckily my family likes to eat and I like to experiment in the kitchen.
I challenge you to try goat meat (it is the world’s most popular meat – check out this blog post if you don’t believe me). I’ve used ground goat in recipes that call for ground lamb like Shepherd’s Pie and as a substitute for ground beef in meatloaf. Tonight I decided to think outside the box and play with some of the spices in the cupboard as well as goat stew meat to come up with the following recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Indian-Inspired Slow-Cooked Goat Stew
Yield: 6 Servings
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground garam masala
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds goat stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried red bell pepper
1 Tbsp dried green bell pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups water
1-15 1/2-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
1-14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp fresh ginger paste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
Mix first 5 ingredients in large zip top bag. Add goat, seal, and shake to coat.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add goat to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to skillet between batches. Transfer goat to slow cooker after each batch.
Add onion and carrot to drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, peppers, bouillon, and water and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits.
Transfer to slow cooker and add garbanzo beans, peaches, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, and ginger. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove cinnamon sticks. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped fresh basil. Serve over cooked rice or couscous.