If you live in America, you already know that we consume mostly beef, chicken, turkey and pork. If one lives near the coast, seafood may also be a staple. On occasion, Americans consume duck or lamb. Those who are even more adventurous may include venison, rabbit, or pheasant. But what about goat?
Is goat also a viable source of meat? The answer is yes.
Beef has gotten a bad reputation over the last couple of decades for a number of reasons like the cost of beef production, growing health concerns that red meat is bad for you, or more recently the debate as to whether or not beef is a “green” enough food source. This bad reputation beef, has nonetheless influenced people to consider other options—like goat.
However, goat meat cannot substitute beef. Although it’s a red meat like beef, it’s not beef. If your the kind of person who really likes a good steak or burger, you’d probably be disappointed with a goat substitute. Goat meat in cut, consistency, and taste, is probably most similar to lamb and could probably pass off as lamb quite easily in most recipes.
Having said that, if one likes lamb, they would probably like goat as well. Like lamb, if it’s not prepared well, it could easily be very unappetizing. Generally,l amb is a meat that is liked only by few. Lamb (like goat) can be very tasty, but the key is that it has to be prepared well. Cultures such as India, the Middle East, or Greece are known for their dishes featuring lamb. Using recipes from these cultures is a good way to start incorporating goat into your cuisine.
Mexico, Latin America, parts of Middle America, and some southern states in the U.S, regularly consume goat and also have a number of tasty dishes. With the growing Mexican population in the U.S, many of their foods and ingredients are becoming more and more common place particularly in urban areas with large immigrant populations.
Although it might still be unusual to see goat meat available at the local butcher at Jewel or Whole Foods, many Mexican supermarkets and authentic restaurants offer it daily. It’ll be labeled as cabra, birria, cabrito, or chevon. Nearly every major American city now has a Mexican community and so finding a Mexican meat butcher isn’t that difficult.
If your thinking about giving goat a try but are worried you might not like it. Here are some other things to consider. Ounce per ounce, compared to beef, goat meat is leaner, has fewer calories, less saturated fat, and less cholesterol. It’s high in iron and is also a rich source of potassium. So give it a try.