April 11, 2013 Leave your thoughts
Every Saturday morning, my dad and I travel to our local butcher to buy meat for the coming week. They’ve got your basic cuts, like rib-eye steaks and pork roasts, but sometimes they’ll have something totally unusual, like rabbit or quail.
After perusing through their freezer this week, I discovered ground goat. I’ve only had goat a handful of times before and have never cooked with it, so I figured I’d give it a try in a tagine, one of my favorite Moroccan dishes.
A tagine is a stew-like dish that’s made in a clay pot with a cone-shaped top. Unfortunately, I do not own such a device, so I used my Le Creuset French Oven instead. But hey, if you have a tagine, definitely use it in this recipe!
First, cut up your veggies. I roughly chopped 1 large onion, 3 zucchinis, 4 carrots, and 1 large eggplant, but you can also use parsnips, sweet potatoes, or even butternut squash. I also diced up 4 cloves of garlic and added it to the rest of the vegetables.
Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a French oven, Dutch oven, or tagine over medium heat. (Any deep pot will do.) Once hot, add the veggies and cook until soft, about 7 to 10 minutes. Season well with kosher salt.
Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon of coriander, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and a good crack of black pepper. After cooking for a minute or two longer, pour in 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup all-fruit apricot preserves, and 2 cups of chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and cover.
While the veggies get tender and flavorful, make some meatballs to go in the tagine. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large baking sheet with coconut oil.
In a large bowl, mix together 2 pounds of ground goat, 1 large egg, beaten, and 2 tablespoons of ras el hanout. (For the recipe I used, click here.) If you can’t find ground goat, feel free to substitute ground beef or lamb instead.
Next, roll the meat into balls. With 2 pounds of ground meat, I made 30 meatballs, so each one should be a little over an ounce. You don’t have to be exact, but make sure the balls are all approximately the same size.
Place the goat balls on the prepared sheet, and bake until light golden brown, about fifteen minutes. You’ll be adding the balls to the tagine later, so it’s OK if they aren’t completely cooked yet.
About half an hour before you want to eat, add the meatballs to the vegetable mixture along with 1/4 cup of raisins. Put the lid on and cook on low for another 25 to 30 minutes.
Warm, comforting, and exotic…YUM.
This is a great dish to make in advance if you don’t have much time to cook on weeknights. Just make the meatballs and vegetable tagine base and store each in separate containers. The night you want to have the goat ball tagine, let everything come to room temperature for half an hour, then proceed with the final steps of the recipe.
Have you ever had goat? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!