This leg of goat with spring peas and onions makes for a delicious holiday dish for Easter. Halal goat is what I use. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that the animals are slaughtered in as a humane way as possible. There is a ritual and a prayer said before slaughter. Secondly, the animals are then hung and drained of all their blood prior to butchering and selling. This allows for a better tasting and cleaner end product.
Halal vs. Kosher
There are many questions that come up when people ask about the differences between halal meat and kosher. Here are some basic facts about halal versus kosher.
Halal rules allow for eating the whole animal, but kosher law prohibits eating the hindquarters. Halal law requires praying to Allah before or while each animal is slaughtered, but kosher does not require prayer before each slaughter. A shochet, or specially trained rabbi, must slaughter the animal, while any adult Muslim, Christian, or Jew can slaughter the animal in halal law. Residual blood in meat is fine in halal rules, but not in kosher rules, which call for rapid, complete draining of the blood at the time of slaughter. Kosher meat is acceptable in halal law, but halal meat is unacceptable to those following kosher rules.
The recipe below is a great way to prepare a goat in whichever kind you prefer. Also, this is a nice recipe to prepare any time of year. If you can’t find fresh peas a good frozen variety will be just fine.
Leg of Halal Goat ( 4-5 lbs.)
Ingredients: (Leg preparation)
- fresh black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves (cut in slivers)
- 1/3 cup, red or white wine, dry
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 teaspoon basil, dried
- 1 teaspoon, oregano, dried
- 1 teaspoon, rosemary, roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoon, Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon, lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon, lemon zest, grated
- 1/3 cup, olive oil
Tip: This can be made a day or two in advance
- Rinse leg under cold running water and pat dry. Trim off any excess fat and silver skin.
Tip: Don’t be so concerned with removing all silver skin and fat. Just trim it.
- Cut the garlic halves into long, even strips.
- With the point of a sharp knife make several holes in the flesh of the goat leg on all sides. Place the garlic in the cuts.
- Leave at room temperature while you make the marinade and preheat an oven to 350F°.
- When ready to cook season both sides of the leg of goat with salt and pepper.
Procedure: (Marinade & Cooking)
- Place all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Whisk well until smooth.
- Using a pastry or basting brush, coat both sides of the goat.
- Place the goat on a roasting tray and place them in the center portion of your oven for approximately 3 hours.
- Baste the goat every 10 minutes during the first hour.
- Then baste every 20 minutes for the duration of the cooking time.
- This will help develop a delicious crust and keep the meat very moist. Also as the juices begin to accumulate in the bottom of your roasting pan you can use it to bast the legs of the goat as well.
- If the meat begins to darken before it’s fully cooked, simply place a foil cover over the leg.
- Remove foil for the last 20 minutes of roasting to create a delectable crust.
- Once complete, remove the leg from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes prior to slicing.
Tip:A good indication that the goat is done is that the meat can easily be flaked off the leg with a fork. These dishes can be served separately, or you can plate the risotto and then place some thinly sliced leg meat on top. If cooking the rack of goat as I did on the show, simply cook the rack to a perfect medium or to the temperature of your liking and neatly place it on the risotto plate or serve separately on the side.
Spring Peas and Onions
- Spring peas, 50-60 pea pods, or two pounds frozen peas.
- Onions, 6-8 medium-sized onions cut in half-moon slices.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- butter, 1/4 stick of unsalted
- Olive oil, 1/4 cup
- Oregano or mint, fresh about two bunches
- In a large pan heat the olive oil and butter. Once the butter starts to froth add the sliced onions.
- Stir them through and then lower the flame to medium and let them cook slowly.
- Every so often gives the onions a stir to evenly caramelize them. Do not stir over and over.
- Try to only stir them 3-4 times to evenly cook all the onions during this caramelization process.
Tip: It’s okay to ass a few splashes of water if the onions are coloring up too quickly.
- If using fresh peas be sure to remove them carefully from their pods and place them in a bowl.
- Rinse the peas in cold water for a few seconds and hold them to the side.
- Once the onions have reached a light golden color add in the peas.
- Carefully stir in the spring peas being careful not to mash them.
- The fresh peas will cook in a matter of 2-3 minutes from the heat of the pan. The frozen peas may take a little longer.
- Do not overcook the peas. They should be cooked all the way through but still have a beautiful vibrant “spring-like” color.
Add the roasted legs of goat to the peas and serve it carved at tableside for an impressive presentation for your guests. This will also get their mouths watering because it will smell and look so delicious.