Cooking for Cullen
I’m hosting our National Member of Parliament for dinner tonight, Nathan Cullen. Consequently, I had to find something to cook! Having recently butchered one of my goats (and checked with his reps that he doesn’t have any food allergies or dislikes, I decided to try finding an interesting recipe for goat leg. This recipe is inspired by Chocolate and Zucchini which calls for a lamb shoulder and I’ve made some adjustments to suit my taste and the goat leg.
For the seasoning paste:
1 bushy sprig of fresh rosemary (you can substitute 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, but fresh really is preferable)
1 lemon (organic if possible)
50 gm filets of anchovies packed in olive oil, drained (if you don’t have anchovies, then use a combination of green and/or black olives!)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
A fresh ground black pepper to taste, or several good turns of the mill
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons olive oil
For the meat:
2.2 kg (5 pounds) bone-in Goat Leg
8 small ripe tomatoes, about 650g (1 1/3 pounds)
8 small onions, quartered
4 cloves garlic,
Serves 6 to 8.
Pluck the needles of rosemary and discard the tough central stem (you can leave it to dry and use it as a skewer on a later occasion). Peel the zest of the lemon using a zester or a simple vegetable peeler (save the naked lemon for another use).
Using a mortar and pestle, combine the rosemary, lemon zest, anchovies, peeled garlic, mustard seeds, pepper, vinegar, and oil. Grind until the mixture turns into a coarse paste.
Place the leg of goat in a baking dish large enough to accommodate it, and rub in the seasoning paste, taking care to spread it well, and on all sides. (Clean your hands meticulously before and after the rubbing.) Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 3 or 4.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring it back to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and the tomatoes, cored and halved, slipping them under and around the meat, wherever you can and place the quartered onions all around the goat leg and drizzle with olive oil.
Place the dish in the oven to cook for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 130°C (270°F) and cook for another 2 1/2 hours, basting and flipping the meat every 30 minutes or so. Cover with a sheet of foil if it seems to brown too quickly.
Let rest on the counter under a sheet of foil for 5 minutes. Carve the meat table-side and serve. (The leftovers are even better the next day.)
Goes well with greek style roasted new potatoes or brown basmatti rice.