Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Slow-cooked Goat Shoulder

Lately I've noticed more interesting cuts of meat and types of meat appearing at the market - an example of this is goat shoulder

goat shoulder© by Haalo

It weighs in at just over a kilo and for a country that loves its lamb, it is surprising that goat isn't more readily available or popular.

goat shoulder© by Haalo

Just for illustrative purposes I thought I'd include the underside - gives you a better idea of what you are getting, there's actually some lovely looking ribs in there.

I'm cooking this whole so I've taken a slow approach -  low heat, for a long time which results in meat that really does fall off the bone.

slow-cooked goat shoulder© by Haalo

Slow-cooked Goat Shoulder

1 goat shoulder (this one weighed in at around 1.2kg)
1 large red onion, thick dice
2 carrots, thick dice
1 celery stick, thick dice
4 garlic cloves
fresh rosemary
red wine
400 grams/1 can crushed tomatoes

Heat a good glug of oil and a knob of butter in a casserole dish and place over a medium heat - the dish needs to be large enough to hold the goat shoulder and all the ingredients.

When the butter has melted and has started sizzling, season the goat shoulder with salt and pepper - break in a few small sprigs of rosemary and then place the shoulder skin side down in the pot.

You want to keep the heat up to form a lovely brown crust on the goat - it is important to get the colour on the meat now as it won't really change during the slow cooking. Once one side is golden, season the "bone side" and flip over. Due to the shape of the shoulder you won't get any even colouring here but you will be able to brown the fleshy underside of the shoulder.

Once it is all browned, remove from the pot - lower the heat and add in the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. You don't want the vegetables to brown, just to soften - once they have softened, pour in a half cup of red wine to deglaze the pan. It's good to use a hard spatula to scrap up any stuck bits at the bottom of the pot. When you add the wine to the pan, it needs to bubble quite rapidly so it burns off the alcohol and reduces. Add in another half cup of wine and the crushed tomatoes - let this bubble for a minute or so before returning the shoulder back into the pan - skin side up. Make sure the vegetables are neatly dispersed around the shoulder. Add enough water to almost cover the meat.

Take a large sheet of baking paper and push it into the pot so that it touches the top of the water - this helps to form a tighter seal.

Place the pot in a preheated 150°C oven and cook until tender - this shoulder took about 5 hours and I turned the meat over at the 2 and 3.5 hour mark. You'll known it is done when the feel the bone is actually free of the meat.

slow-cooked goat shoulder© by Haalo

In this photo the bone that you see sticking out was basically loose and when pulled came out completely clean.

You can eat this as soon as it is made but I prefer to let it cool overnight. Two reasons - first, there is a lot of fat in this cut and it will set across the top of the liquid, the next day you can easily remove as much or as little as you like. Second, it tastes better - put it back in a low oven and bring it up to serving temperature.

The meat is so tender, you don't carve it, you basically pull it apart. I like to serve it with something simple, steamed potatoes - they are the perfect match for that lovely rich sauce.


  1. the preparation....a must try whenever i get goat shoulder!

  2. That looks fantastic. I don't think I could resist eating it immediately!

  3. Loved the first snapshot Haalo. Post looks lovely.
    In an Indian recipe, we would add more spices and avoid the red wine. But this sounds delicious.

  4. Sorry, don't know how else to contact you except leaving a comment here.

    In balsamic pickles onions you said "For the pickling liquid, I've based it on a favourite Italian version that uses Balsamic Vinegar. The other benefit of this method is that they are ready to eat virtually straight away.

    Read more:

    But, I couldn't find the recipe for the balsamic vinegar - surely it has to be "thined-out" otherwise it would be too strong, no?



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