Tim has spent the past couple of months working with local goat farmers to bring this beautiful meat to a few of the chefs we already supply with venison. For my part, I am putting together a little library of recipes for this beautiful meat. Not having loads of experience with it, I wanted to start out with something clean and simple, a recipe that allows the flavour of the meat to come through.
Last night we had a barbecued backstrap with couscous, flat bread and a cool yogurt dip. It was beautiful and perfectly easy for such a hot evening. The recipes are all below, and of course if you can’t source goat, a venison or lamb backstrap or nice piece of beef would also be great.
On the farm front, Tom is developing a serious tractor obsession and seems to be happy to just sit on a stationary tractor as long as we let him. This is him with his Grandfather Andrew...there was a slight meltdown when Grandy had to get back to work and Tom was forcibly removed from the drivers seat. This week has been hot and dry and the farm seems to be instantly showing it, we’ve seen a few snakes these past days no doubt pretty happy to be able to sun themselves properly after the cool summer so far. The deer are looking terrific, their coats glossy and their babies beautiful and there’s just enough water in our creek to swim or rather paddle. The kids are fearless as they tramp downstream, me less so – the thought of leeches and other, larger slithery things just doesn’t do it for me. Hopeless I know, but the local pool and its clean, chlorinated glory holds more appeal. Otherwise we are loving having lots of suppers in the cool orchard and heading to the commercial orchards around us tomorrow and Friday to pick apricots and figs – will post recipes from this weekend’s jam session soon.
For the goat
1 x goat backstrap (or venison, lamb etc)
2 tsp Persian spice mix (I used one from Herbies Spices in Sydney, they do online sales too)
2 tbsp olive oil
Rub the meat with spices and oil and set aside. Heat barbecue or a grill pan to high and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Let rest for a few minutes before cutting across the grain into nice, thick medallions.
For the couscous
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup couscous
2 tsp barberries
2 wedges preserved lemon, flesh removed and rind finely chopped
handful of mint and parsley, finely chopped
1 cup peas or broad beans (cooked)
1 red capsicum, finely diced
other vegetables to your taste
2 tbsp olive oil
Pour boiling stock over the couscous, cover with plastic wrap and leave for five minutes. Spread couscous over trays to cool and then combine with remaining ingredients. Taste and then add some lemon juice if you feel it needs more acidity and maybe some dried chilli for some kick.
(Recipe inspired by one by Ian Hempill)
For the yogurt dressing
1 cup natural yogurt
1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and let sit out of the fridge for a little while to let the ingredients get to know each other.
For the flat breads
1 1/2cups strong flour
1 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs sea salt flakes
Preheat oven to 220°C and combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the water, half the oil and stir well. Knead by hand or using a mixer with a dough hook for about 10 minutes. Place in a clean bowl and cover with a damp tea towel, leave in a warm place for one hour.
Turn dough out onto a floured board. Divide into four portions, roll each one into a disc of about 1/2cm thick. Let sit for about half an hour and preheat the oven to 200. Drizzle the remaining oil over each disc and dust with the salt. Bake for 15 minutes.