Monday, June 12, 2006

The Great Goat Adventure (pt. 1)

I've decided to cook cabrito. Cabrito is Spanish for little goat. Actually, it's more like sweet, cute, cuddly little goat. The word for regular goat is cabra. And cabron means billy goat, and also dirty old man. (I saw a man a few weeks ago wearing a hat that said Nadie me quiere, porque yo soy cabron--"Nobody loves me because I'm a dirty old man," but that's another story.) I started to do this because it's on my List. The List consists of thirty things I'd like to do, thirty I'd like to be, and thirty I'd like to have. Thing number twenty-five to do is "cook cabrito."

I started my adventure by calling the meat market (duh). Here's how the conversation went:

"Thank you for calling ****** Meats. How can I help you?"
"Um, yeah. Do y'all sell goat meat?"
"No, we don't really sell goat meat. We only sell whole goats."
"Um, ok. How big are these goats?"
"I'm not really sure. I don't work with them much."
"Can you estimate how big they are?
"You really need to call back in the morning and talk to Bill. Bill is the owner, and he knows all the stuff about goats."
"I just want a ballpark size. Are they as big as a pig?"
"Not really. They weigh between about ten and thirty pounds. The smaller ones cost more per pound, but I don't remember the cutoff weight, or the prices. You really need to talk to Bill."
"But they're not all that big, right? It's not like buying a side of beef or anything, right?"
"That's right. "
"OK, thanks. I'll call back for Bill tomorrow."

Armed with this knowledge(?), I decided to check some references to see if I could find out any early tips about cooking cabrito.

From James Beard's American Cookery:
........

From The New Fanny Farmer Cookbook:
........

From the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook:
........

From the Betty Crocker Cookbook:
.........

So the standard American cookbooks aren't much help.

I tried Classic Italian Cookery. Italians eat goat, don't they?
Nope.

I tried The Mediterranean Cookbook. Greeks, or Turks, or Spaniards, or North Africans--somebody over there has to eat goat, right?
Nope

On Food and Cooking: Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Harold McGee knows all. He'll hook me up, right? He mentions goats. He mentions that they were domesticated ten or eleven thousand years ago, in what is now Iran or Iraq. Great. Maybe I need a cookbook in cuneiform, so I can cook some goat.

In desperation, I'm turning to other sources. Those sources are Dr. Bubba and Rupe. Dr. Bubba works with my sister's husband, at the Los Alamos National Lab. Doing Science to nuclear weapons. He is from San Angelo, though, and his family eats goat. I think. Rupe lives in San Antonio, where people eat goat, and his dad is a bigwig with a spice company there. We'll see what these characters can tell me.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the great goat adventure. (Yes, I know I could google a recipe for cabrito. But that's not as funny, and I wouldn't entirely trust a recipe for goat that someone just left lying around the internet.)

6 comments:

Mum Apie_Chick said...

When you Google cabrito, the first hit is:
http://www.texasmonthly.com/food/onthemenu/cabrito.php

I know, no fun, but certainly authoritative.

So there!

Dr. Bubba said...

Goat! Now we are talking. Cool I think I am going to like your blog alot. Goat and Brisket. Work on the Sausage too. ;)

You know you are not that far from
a great goat cooking resource. Brady, Texas. They have the annual World Goat Cookoff Championship. If you want to be a judge there then I might be able to hook you up to do that. Seriously let me know if are interested. Be warned the guy who did this for awhile said some of it tastes like kerosene and just about killed him.

I have heard that the LoneStar BBQ (now a Hard Eight BBQ) in Brady, Texas serves goat on weekends. I also heard one of the Cooper Ole Time BBQ Pits serves it...I forget if it is the Llano or Mason one. BTW there is a Hard Eight BBQ in Stephenville. It was not bad.
Worth a trip to Stephenville I think.

I wish I could say how to cook goat...I never learned. I know we started with a youngish spanish goat...a kid or yearlin. They
can be expensive...$40-$50 if not more per goat. We cooked it on the same pit at the same time as the Brisket. As far as the timing then I am guessing not as long. We treated it like a brisket...neck and ribs too.

Many, in Texas, like to use a mustard sauce on the goat. It is made up of butter, mustard, and black pepper. I do not know the proportions but I mix to taste for the things i use it. Usually for my Sausage. :)

Many a BBQ I attended growing up had Goat with it. Sonora Texas had a good many goat BBQs. It is pretty common in Texas..more than one would think. Just not too common at public places.

Ate a good bit of it in San Antonio..baked mostly. Still yum.

I would love to see how you experiment with it.

Dr. Bubba said...

Aaron,

Another thing, which your post reminded me of, is that back East there is a pretty good demand of sheep and good for ethnic foods like Turkish and MidEast folks.

So they do eat it a good bit in their diet. A fellow I know who is a grass manager in Virginia mentioned this to me once.

DB

Dr. Bubba said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sparky's Mom said...

There is a reason that goat cookery isn't listed in civilized cookbooks--that being that goats aren't meant to be eaten!

Dr. Bubba said...

Aaron,

Though I have not started any posts or reviews yet (A few are needed from my last visit to Texas), I thought I would share another blog I started but have not advertised. Masthead should say it all. ;)

http://bubbaqlog.blogspot.com/

Hopefully more soon but until then I have not linked it up to my other blogs.

And Sparky's Mom...goat is absolutely wonderful. Tender and sweet. You are really missing out.
As Emily says..you gotta try it before you can say you don't like it. ;)

DB