This dish has absolutely nothing to do with Asia, other than the fact that I cooked it in my Malaysian kitchen, but sometimes a good recipe should be shared whether or not it fits the theme of the food blog.
And a dish this rich and meaty is probably not going to appeal right now to most of our in-the-grip-of-summer North American readers, but I know that somewhere in the world it's daube weather.
I cooked goat for the first time just a few months ago, in a spicy coconut milk-based goat curry. The dish was delicious and got me wondering what else I could do with the other red meat.
It was Dave who suggested goat daube (a daube is wine-based stew). He'd been thinking about the string of Decembers we spent in a rented farmhouse in Piemonte. Not surprisingly (it's Italy after all, and this was before the precipitous drop of the US dollar) those weeks were all about eating and drinking and cooking and the sporadic sightseeing that occurred on the way to and from open markets and shops and osterie and trattorie and restaurants. One of our most memorable Christmas Eve meals was a Provencal daube made with bue grasso beef that we purchased from the local butcher. The daube recipe was one I'd followed a bunch of times at home, but made with Piemonte's exceptional beef it was an altogether different - and tastier - animal. Bue grasso tastes stronger, more minerally, and, for lack of a better word, beefier than American beef. That Christmas Eve daube was so good, in fact, that I never made the dish again, unless we were in Piemonte.
Until a month or so ago, when Dave suggested I substitute goat for the bue grasso. It's not a true substitution, of course - goat is a bit gamey and awfully tough. But, we thought, tamed by the overnight soak in red wine that this recipe calls for and stewed slowly for a good, long time, it might give the daube the sort of extra 'edge' that it gained from the Piemonte beef. Long story short - we were very happy with the rich, uber-meaty daube, in which goat and dry red wine played off each other beautifully. We ate half the day I made it and stuck the rest in the freezer. Leftovers, eaten for dinner Sunday night, were even tastier than the first round.
Most every KL wet market has a mutton and goat vendor (or five), and that's where I purchased the goat meat. I told the butcher I was making curry and asked him to leave the bones in when he chopped up the meat. Ten years ago I might have found eating a dish made with bone-in meat a pain in the rear, but living in Asia has inured me to the hassle of negotiating my way around bone bits; I've also come to realize that the extra flavor bones lend to slow-simmered dishes are more than worth the effort of dealing with them at the table. If I really don't want bones in a stew or soup I remove the meat from the finished dish, let it cool, and then add it back in after I've deboned it. But for cooking, bones stay in.
This goat daube must be started 24 hours ahead, so the meat can soak overnight in (a whole bottle of) red wine. Also in the drink are carrots and onions, freshly ground pepper and salt, fresh thyme and rosemary branches, bay leaves, garlic, and a couple strips of fresh orange peel.
When it's time to cook the daube, remove the meat from the marindate and pat it dry, so that it will brown well. First, chopped onions and minced garlic are sauteed in vegetable oil or, if you wish, pork fat. After they're removed the goat is added and browned off, then removed from the pot and set aside.
Flour is added to the fat left in the pot and cooked and stirred until it browns,
and then in goes the marinade.
Once the pan's been deglazed - bits clinging to the bottom scraped up and incorporated into the liquid as it's brought to a boil - in go the other marinade ingredients, to which are added the sauteed onions,
the browned meat,
some water and, finally, a few dried mushrooms (porcini or cepes).
The stew is simmered, covered, on the stove (it could also be placed in a hot oven) until the goat is tender - which took about 3.5 hours this time around. From pulling the marinated goat from the refrigerator to putting the cover on the pot to simmer took maybe 45 minutes max. Once it's cooking away you're pretty much golden ... not much to do except check the stew every half hour or so to see that it's at a gentle simmer and that sufficient liquid remains to keep things from sticking.
Daube with a (goaty) difference - we like it served with a grind of pepper and a mash of potatoes and winter squash.
Goat Daube with Dried Mushrooms (adapted from The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence by Georganne Brennan)
2.5 pounds bone-in goat meat (or about 2 pounds off the bone), cut into 2 to 2.5-inch pieces
2 yellow onions
8 or so thyme branches
2 rosemary branches, about 6 inches long
2 dried bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic
2 strips orange zest
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup water
2 ounces dried mushrooms (cepes or porcini), some broken up and some left whole
1 cup water
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (optional)
- Trim and discard any large pieces of fat from goat. Place it in a non-reactive bowl, add 1 onion (quartered), carrots (peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces), 2 cloves of garlic, herbs, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, and orange zest. Pour the wine over all and turn to mix and immerse the ingredients. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge, stirring occasionally to make all ingredients get a good soak.
- To cook the daube heat 2 tablespoons oil (or pork fat) in a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the remaining onion (diced) and garlic cloves (minced) and saute till their translucent, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Drain the meat and reserve the marinade. Pat the meat as dry as possible and then add to the pot a few pieces at a time to brown (don't overcrowd the pot or the meat will steam). Saute for about 5 minutes, turning to brown all sides, then remove with a slotted spoon and continue till all meat is cooked.
- Add the flour to the pan and cook until it browns, stirring often. Raise the heat to high and slowly pour in the marinade liquid, deglazing the pan by stiring up any bits clinging to the bottom. Add the rest of the marinade ingredients, then the onion, goat, 1 teaspoon salt, and more ground pepper to taste. Throw in the dried mushrooms, pour in the water, and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover with a lid, and simmer until the goat can be cut through with a spoon, 3-4 hours.
- Once the daube is cooked skim off some of the fat and serve sprinkled with parsley (optional), with pasta or a mash of potatoes and sweet winter squash.