Friday, April 18, 2003

A Dish perfect for the Passover/ Easter Holiday: Cabraita

The thing about goat meat is it has to be prepared just right. Like all things worth the time and effort, it must be done with care, as there is nothing worse then poorly prepared Cabraita.

Fist, you twist the head off the goat. This is not so easy as it sounds, mostly because a goatís head isnít just screwed on. A goat is not a jar of pickles. No matter how you look at it. To break the goatís neck quickly, straddle the goat, holding its shoulders with your knees. Take the right horn in your left hand, the left horn in your right. AndÖ twist! If you twist with enough force you will hear a satisfying snapping sound, like dry twigs in a fire. If not, run quickly and jump the fence because youíll have one pissed off goat.

Butchering a goat is very similar to butchering any livestock of medium size. The best way to cook goat meat is to broil it in a large pan, still on the bone with rosemary and basil, fresh from the garden, preferably. This usually takes a good two hours at least, at four hundred fifty degrees (Fahrenheit). After the meat is broiled it should be tender enough to pull off the bone like barbecued pork. Serve topped with cheese (mozzarella or some other queso blanco) on flour tortillas with pica de gallo both of which can easily be made while the goat is in the oven.

Tortillas are just flour, vegetable shortening and water mixed together, rolled flat and then heated on a griddle (cast iron preferably).

Pico is made with cilantro, onions, tomatoes and jalapeÒo peppers, minced together with a dash of lemon juice. A good Pico, like a good painting should follow the rules of color theory: it should be well balancedó your red (tomatoes) should never outdo your greens (jalapeÒoís, cilantro) while your white (onion) should add a zesty dash and nothing more.

Goat tacos are best served fresh out of the oven, with sweet corn on the cob, refried beans and Mexican or Southwest rice on the side.


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