Goats are closely related to sheep and are some of the oldest domesticated animals. A goat’s meat, fur, skin, and milk are popular across the globe. Goat’s milk in particular is valued as it is made into different types of cheeses—the most popular of these being Feta cheese in America.
Goats’ meats, while not a traditional food in the United States, are some of the most commonly consumed meats in the world. Traditional Indian and Caribbean cuisine use goat meat in many dishes. Some cultures even hold it to be a delicacy. Goats are a healthy and nutritious red meat.
What does Goat Meat Taste Like?
Being as they are genetically similar, a goat’s meat is very close in taste to lamb and sheep. Some places where the meat is popular like the Caribbean and Indian subcontinent use the same word, “mutton,” for both animals.
Depending on the living conditions of the animal, the species, and the diet it consumed, some compare the meat as being closer to venison or veal. The preparation is very important as different cuts of meat should be prepared in complementary fashions.
How to Cook Goat Meat
Goats can be prepared in a variety of ways; grilling, barbecuing, and roasting are the most popular forms. The meat of goats is low in fat and therefore can become tough when cooked at high temperatures. Therefore, barbecuing with cedar chips can retain moisture inside the meat and enhance the flavor.
Frying is another popular preparation as is making goat’s meat into sausage. The sausage can be smoked or cured afterwards.
Stewing and braising are other approaches desirable for less tender cuts. This is the easiest method for beginner cooks and will result in a flavorful and aromatic stew. All cuts of goats should be cooked to the same standards as beef at a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F for safety reasons.
Where to Buy Goat Meat
Many local butcher shops will sell cuts of goats along with lamb, sheep, and veal. However, depending on location, goats can also be found at Costco. Another viable option is to purchase meat online.
It is important to check quality before purchasing, but there are many retailers that sell goat online and ship it to consumers in coolers (similar to steak delivery services).
Who Eats Goat Meat?
Many cultures both inside and outside the U.S. consume goats. Caribbean and Indian cultures use the meat most commonly, but Asian, African, and South American also consume goats to a lesser extent.
Is Goat Meat Legal in the United States?
Yes, goat’s meat is legal in the U.S. The USDA has guidelines for storage and handling of goat’s meat. While goat meat is not graded like beef, it is subject to similar inspections and checked for quality and purity.
There are a few different breeds of domesticated goat in America that are raised for their meat. However, in America goat meat is often a byproduct. More commonly the animals are slaughtered after milk production, or to obtain skins and furs.
Goat Meat Nutrition Facts (3oz., roasted)
- Calories – 122
- Fat – 2.58g
- Protein – 23g
- Iron – 3.3mg