Roast Half Goat with Lemon, Garlic, and Anchovy
4 hours, plus rest overnight
serves: serves 10-14 as a main course
I am back with another one of our Thanksgiving recipes!
Here is a little recap of our Chez Nous Dinners style Thanksgiving! I have never quite got along with the traditional Thanksgiving menu though. For me, the holiday is an opportunity to invite all of my international friends and family over to create our own traditions. Most folks our age go to visit their families for the holiday, however, most of our international friends don’t get to participate. The holiday is an American tradition, and a 4 day weekend is generally too short to warrant a $1000 flight home. In come the Russians. My parents and I have made our own tradition of inviting folks over to share the holiday with us…our style. And since Nico and I moved to out new home with our big kitchen, we have been hosting our International Thanksgivings.
I was never a huge fan of turkey, so I generally prefer to make a big lamb roast. This year, I wanted to make a whole baby goat or lamb! My friend Anwar looked for one for me, and in the end sold me an entire half of a full grown goat, which made a beautiful roast!
I have cooked a piece of lamb or a piece of goat over and over again, so I wanted a challenge. Anwar sold me a giant cooking dish that barely fit into my oven, and butchered the goat so it would fit into my round dish all in one piece. He even handed me the head to boot! This is was so exciting!
Someday, I still dream of roasting an entire goat on a spit, but I don’t have that kind of real estate, so I am so thrilled to announce that a half a goat can definitely be cooked in your oven!
The flavors are very fun here. Everyone stares at me sideways when I say that I cooked the roast with anchovy and garlic, but the flavor is amazing! The combination of anchovy, lemon, garlic and white wine work beautifully with both lamb and goat. You could even add capers, tomatoes, and olives. Check out my Anchovy Stuffed Roast Pork recipe for those flavors!
I spent a lot of time researching how to roast this beast. What kind of temperature? For how long? When is it done? All of the tutorials I could find instructed you to cut the roast up into 1 inch pieces or to pitch a campfire and a spit, so I was really nervous about this. Its not like I could do a practice half goat roast before Thanksgiving night!
I am happy to announce that all went well, and it cooked much faster than expected! I found that the best combination of a medium rare meat and a stewed goat was pouring a bottle of white wine into the dish along with a bed of onions and roasting to 140 in the thickest part of the meat. That way, you get some medium rare cuts, and the parts of the goat that are smaller and get cooked through faster get to stew in the wine and become beautiful and succulent.
In addition, you can then take some of the wine and onions, puree them with some cilantro or parsley and make a gravy with a bit of flour. It was a beautiful sauce and an excellent last minute addition.
As friends started to RSVP, I learned that some folks aren’t into lamb and goat, so I decided to add a beef dish. I came across his Ravioli à la monégasque recipe and was hooked! A ravioli filled with chard, spinach, cheeses, and a bit of lamb’s brain (because why wouldn’t you?) is served on top of a stew of beef braised in red wine with carrots and herbs, very much like a Boeuf Bourguignon. Try our Ravioli à la Monégasque recipe here!
As people RSVPd, we had more dietary restrictions, so we also served a gorgeous Lobster dish! I was leafing through Alain Ducasse’s book and came across this combination of lobster and fresh truffle, perfect for our fish eaters. I loved a lot of Ducasse’s recipe and was inspired by his flavor profile, but have simplified this recipe to make it easier for the home cook. Check out our Lobster and Summer Truffle Spaghetti recipe here!
We finished our meal with a beautiful trifecta of desserts! We served our favorite Cannelés Bordelais, a traditional Russian Smetannik, and my single bow to American flavors, a Cranberry Custard Tart. Stay tuned for all of those recipes later this week!
- 15 pound half goat
- 2 containers anchovies with their oil
- 1 head garlic, peeled
- 12 sprigs oregano
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 6 onions, peeled and slivered
- 3 lemons, zested, halved, and juiced
- bottle of white wine
- 2-3 tablespoons flour
- large handful of parsley
- salt and pepper
- Grind the garlic, anchovies, and oregano to form a paste. Season with salt and pepper and add enough oil to make a spreadable paste.
- Place onions in a huge baking dish.
Arrange the goat on top.
Smear with the paste. Cover with plastic and rest overnight, at least. I seasoned mine 2 days ahead of time.
- The day of, take goat out of fridge and leave on counter for a few hours to reach room temperature.
Sprinkle with zest and pour wine all around the meat.
Squeeze in lemon juice and arrange lemons around the roast.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Roast for 30 minutes to get a nice crust.
- Cover the meat with foil and reduce heat to 350°F.
Roast for another 3 hours or so until you reach 140°F in the thickest part of the meat.
- Allow the meat to rest at least a half an hour but up to several hours is fine.
- for the gravy: Combine about 3 cups worth of onions and wine drippings in a blender. Add a bit of parsley and blend.
Dump into saucepan and heat up.
Add a it of flour and whisk in. Cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.