Goat is not a mainstream meat in Australia. Eaten widely around the world it is considered a delicacy in many Mediterranean countries, the Middle and the Far East. Many Australians have never eaten goat and will frown at the mere thought of it… although they happily eat lamb or mutton.
Australia has traditionally exported a lot of goat meat, although this has never been greatly advertised, due mainly to the fact that the meat is obtained by trapping feral bush goats. The quality of the meat suffers from inconsistency of age and supply, and the gamey flavours, although distinctive, are very pronounced.
This kind of meat works well in a strong curry but hardly cuts the mustard in a fine dining restaurant. The other problem with goat meat is the public’s perception that, although baby goat (or kid) may be tender, old goat is tough and unpalatable.
This is about to change with the pioneering work done by the guys at Cootamundra Goats. They have crossed the Australian Bush Goat with the famous South African ‘Boer’ Goat and have bred a large herd to supply prime quality capretto (milk fed) and chevon (grass fed) goat’s meat to fine dining venues. The Australian Bush Goat preserves some of the gamey flavours and the Boer Goat ensures size and tenderness. Being bred in captivity, and not subject to strenuous exercise, these goats are beautifully tender, regardless of age.
The Bush Goats come from the rugged rangelands of western NSW and Queensland; the Boer Goats from the herds of Australia’s prize-winning Terraweena Stud, which was instrumental in bringing Boer Goats to Australia, and has won numerous prizes in the show ring at Sydney Royal Easter Shows.
The goats are farm-reared in pastures in the rolling hills of the eastern Riverina region of NSW, halfway between Sydney and Melbourne. In contrast to the dry rangelands of the western plains, the region is a high-quality mixed-farming area with a reputation for producing premium agricultural products.
Cootamundra Chevon is available in two seasonal, slightly different lines. In spring (October to Christmas), carcasses are smaller (5 – 10 kg) and milk-fed until that supply runs out. In summer and autumn (February to May) the supply will be 8 – 12 kg, grass-fed, young goat. Meat is available skin on or skin off and you can buy whole carcasses or de-boned meat.
For more information contact:
Bethungra N.S.W. 2590
Mob: 0409 044 203
Fax : 02 9949 7868
So much for “Having your Goat” now to the “eating it” part.
Last Monday Cootamundra Chevon organised a dinner at Trans Restaurant in Mosman. Tri handled the front of house with his usual professionalism and his ever-present and genuine smile and Lanna weaved her magic in the kitchen. What followed was an extraordinary meal!
First, we were treated to a ‘Warm salad of twice-cooked quail with beetle leaf, paw paw with mixed greens, mint and Vietnamese mint.’ A smoky, subtle warm salad and a perfect appetite stimulant. This was followed by a ‘Stir fried goat’s meat with watercress and eggplant’. Marinated overnight, barbecued, then sliced and stir-fried served with watercress and smoky eggplant. The goat’s meat enhanced by the bitter and smoky flavours of the cress and the eggplant. The next course was ‘Goat in clay-pot with okra, fermented bean curd dressing and rice’. Wonderfully succulent goat’s meat, its earthy flavour enhanced by the sharp flavours of the fermented bean curd sauce, followed by a ‘Goat curry with taro’, a green curry with lemongrass, cinnamon, turmeric and coconut cream. A very balanced dish, flavoursome but not so spicy that it ruined the superb 1994 Stony Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh fruit cleansed the palate at the end of the meal and it was obvious from the contented sighs around the table that a new generation of goat lovers was born.
For more information or bookings:
523 Military Road
Spit Junction, Mosman
02 9969 9275