Goat meat is steadily finding its feet, so to speak, both in UK restaurants and home kitchens. You’re not alone though if you’re still wary of it – or typically think it’s just found in curries.
Goat still has a long way to go before picking up a haunch of kid for dinner becomes as normal as roasting a joint of beef on a Sunday. Then again, once you’ve heard the facts – namely that goat meat is better for the environment and, quite possibly, for your body than beef has ever been – then it may not take quite so long to enter your diet after all.
James Whetlor, who runs goat meat company Cabrito, supplies kid meat to those looking for cuts that are as ethical as they are tasty. “I’m always being told to talk about the health benefits of goat meat,” he says, cradling a velveteen billy goat in his arms when we meet on one of his suppliers’ farms near Axminster, Devon, “but I’m a chef, I don’t care. I really only care about how it tastes, and it tastes amazing.”
But if you do find the health benefits intriguing, and if you love your red meat, goat is an excellent alternative to what you’re likely to already have in your fridge.
In fact, it’s relatively low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and leaner than beef, pork and even chicken when served in equivalent portion sizes. It’s still a red meat though, so you’re guaranteed high levels of iron (great for your oxygen-carrying red blood cells) as well as protein, which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, and supports the body’s cell repair and production processes.
Although Whetlor’s attention sways understandably towards flavour, Cabrito’s overriding mission statement is to get “more billy goats in the food system”, he states. The majority of billy goats are euthanised, as they’re of almost no value to the dairy industry (a figure which has ballooned as the demand for goat’s milk has grown).
Eating goat meat puts a currently wasted, sustainable meat source to delicious use. And if it’s good for you too, swapping your lamb chops for goat is pretty much a no-brainer.
Goat: Cooking And Eating by James Whetlor, photography Mike Lusmore,
is published by Quadrille, priced £20. Available now (50% of the book’s royalties will be donated to Farm Africa).
- Press Association