Goats & Torts

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Slow Stewed Goat Tacos; I was trying to come up with a witty title for this recipe; bah bah black beans, goat-ita’s, chimichangoat… you get the picture, and while I realize that it may be unlikely you have goat meat in your freezer, I wanted to share this easy, meaty Mexican dish which is great for strong and gamey meats; ground lamb, venison, or elk would all be nice slowly stewed in this blend of beer and chillis. Goat is one of my favorite meats, I adore a good Caribbean goat curry with roti, and would maybe give a toe for a firy Indian goat vindalo, seriously. This was my first time cooking goat and I was really thrilled to be given a few bundles of goat meat from some new and lovely friends who are in their first year of goat keeping and very recently they learned how to pack the gents neatly into brown paper. They now have two Nubian girls left who are sweet as pie (with another hopefully on the way) and of course milk and cheese to follow…

I was really eager to come and meet their dairy goats, as my dream (long before moving to the country) has been to keep goats and make cheese. I have lots of these types of dreams; keep bee’s, have meat rabbits, keep sheep, spin wool, duck pond with ducks and fish, etc… some of these food systems we are getting closer to and others like the goats I really want to dig in and make sure I am ready for the commitment. So I am all too happy to muck, and milk and spend some time ensuring I would be a good goat keeper. I am feeling pretty good about our laying chickens, and think that you will be seeing some rabbit recipes come summer.

Lets get back to the goat… for this dinner I used 1 lb of ground goat meat. I started with a good swig of olive oil in a deep cast iron pan in which I browned; 1/2 yellow onion diced, 1 tomato diced, 1 jalepeno diced, and 4 cloves of garlic chopped coarsely, once all of these are starting to brown add the ground meat and cook down for 5-8 minutes. Add a can of dark beer and the following spices: 1 tbsp each allepo peppers, crushed chilies, ground chipotly peppers, Mexican chili powder, toasted cumin seed whole & paprika. Then add 1 tsp-ish each dried garlic granules and dried onion flakes. A squeeze of lime juice and about 2 tbsp molasses along with a squeeze of both ketchup and tomato paste. Let this all bubble over med-low heat for an hour or so then add 1 cup of dried black bean flakes (if you don’t have these in your pantry, you will want to find them, and you will love them! I used them all the time!) If you don’t have them you could add 1 cup of canned or soaked and coarsely mashed black beans. Add S+P and cook this all down for another hour or so, if your heat is too high or your pan isn’t cast iron you may need to add additional water, stock or beer. Once the mix is to your desired thickness serve with corn tortillas and fixins, I used a locally made cottage cheese which tastes more like a un-salty feta or ricotta, greens and of course my grilled avocado guacamole.

And now for dessert:

This Gluten Free Torta is always a huge hit at the cafe, and I made this one for my friend Peters Birthday last weekend (it was my Birthday weekend too.. so I picked my favorite cake) Essentially this is a flour free nutella tort. It is deep and dark and divine. you grind whole hazel nuts into flour and slather it in dark chocolate ganache, it doesn’t really get much better than this. This is really a simple tort.. it sounds like a lot of work, but I can pump out a finished tort glazed and cut inside of two hours, which is great when that is all you have to throw yourself together, feed the family and get to a surprise party!

You’ll need to buy 2 cups of hazel nuts and 1 small jar of nutella, but you should have the other 4 ingredients on hand.

In a double boiler melt 4 squares of bitter bakers chocolate (or 100g of Callebaut dark  chocolate chunks) along with 125g of butter. While this is melting and in between stirring it get 6 egg whites whisking in your mixer to stiff peaks. put the yokes in a large bowl and add 375g Nutella and 100g of finely ground hazel nuts, and 1 tbsp of vanilla or some nice liquor like Frangelico or Kahlua. Add a pinch of salt (unless you are using salted hazelnuts..,. which I wouldn’t recommend but in a pinch will work) Use some elbow grease and bring these together. By now your chocolate and butter should be melted and have sat on the counter top for 2 minutes to cool slightly before you add this to the Nutella nut mix. Make sure you add the chocolate slowly and stir well in between (you don’t want scrambled eggs) Once combined you should also have stiff peaks in your mixer. Add the eggs whites to the chocolate mix 1/3 at a time and gently fold in until you have a lovely light batter. Pour into a 12” round greased tart pan with a removable bottom, or something similar in size. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes until set. If you over bake this it will crack through. After a couple minutes remove the tart from the sided of the pan and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before glazing.

The ganache finish is simple, using your double boiler again melt 60g good quality sweetened dark chocolate once melted remove from heat and add about 1/2 cup pf coffee cream or the cream off the top of your farm fresh milk if you are blessed enough to have that and stir it in until you have a silky dark glaze. Pour over your torta and sprinkle with course chopped hazelnuts. Pull this out next time you have celiac guests for dinner and they will kiss your feet (or at least do dishes), I promise!

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