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Goat meat might not have the same reputation as lamb and venison in New Zealand, but with this recipe from Kaelah James, that might be about to change. Goats are abundant in New Zealand and a major threat to our naive flora so learning how to cook them right can help put nutritious food on the table and protect our environment.
One of my favourite ways to spend time with the old man is to go hunting. We pack up side by side and with coffees in hand we venture out at dawn into the Kaikōura ranges ready to restock the freezer. Feral goats can be found roaming all over the New Zealand countryside and they make the perfect targets, especially for beginner hunters and kids. As hunters, we need to do our part to keep goat numbers under control. They destroy vegetation and threaten our native plant species.
Goat meat just happens to be me and my family’s favourite wild meat to eat. I’m not talking about the old stinky ones, rather the younger ones. The meat is tender, sweeter than lamb and not at all gamey. Here’s a hearty recipe that is perfect for the slow cooking cuts of the goat, like neck cuts, legs and shoulders.
Wild Goat Stew Recipe
2kg (approx) goat meat diced into large chunks
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 large onion diced
garlic chopped use however much garlic you like there are no rules here
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp Rum & Que Ram Rod or add an extra stock cube
1 chicken stock cube
3 cups water
4 tbsp tomato paste
bottle of beer (any beer is fine)
bunch of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Cheese and Jalapeños Dumplings Recipe
3/4 tbsp water
3 tbsp chopped jalapeños
1/4 cup grated cheese
Wild Goat Meat Stew
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees on fan bake. 2. Heat oil in a large dutch oven or stewing pot over a high heat. Brown off goat in batches, remove and set aside. 3. Add more oil if needed and add in onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook on medium until veggies start to soften. 4. Add goat meat back to pot and sprinkle over flour. Stir until combined. 5. Mix together water, tomato paste, stock cube and Rum & Que Ram Rod and pour into the pot along with bottle of beer. 6. Add thyme and bay leaves, cover and cook for two hours or until meat is tender. Stir occasionally.
Cheese and Jalapeños Dumplings
1. In a bowl, combine the flour and butter using your finger tips. Rub it together to form a dry crumb. 2. Add in diced jalapeños and cheese, 3 tbsp of water and stir using a spoon until a soft dough forms. Add another tbsp of water if its too dry. 3. Once a soft dough is formed, roll into balls and place the dumplings in the top of the stew, when there's about 25 minutes cooking time left. Put the lid on the stew, and cook for 25 minutes - or until the dumplings are soft and cooked through.
This wild goat stew is a hearty, warm, satisfying meal for those winter months. It tastes delicious and you can feel good about doing your bit for New Zealand's native plants when you're tucking in. Don't let anyone tell you that wild goat's not good eating until you've tried it for yourself.
Follow Kaelah's Wild Food Kitchen on and .