Q: What do you call a goat that’s sitting around doing nothing?
A: Billy Idol.
I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. I fell down a rabbit hole of goat memes on the internet the other day and bad goat jokes were rife. Believe it or not, the Billy Idol example was one of the better ones.
Goats have been on my mind because today’s Three Ways With… column is all about using goat meat, milk and cheese. The latter has become much more common in New Zealand in recent years -there were loads of great goats’ cheese entries in the recent Outstanding Food Producer Awards, for example – but the former two are only just on the cusp of being mainstream. It’s a pity, because they’re delicious – and they tick all the boxes in terms of careful production and quality.
I was inspired to make my own cajeta (pictured above) after tasting Hamilton company Cilantro‘s version. Making your own is fun, not difficult and yields a generous amount that will disappear quickly. It’s the closest thing I’ve tasted to manjar, the highly addictive Chilean dulce de leche. One spoonful and you’ll never be satisfied with salted caramel again.
If you’re too pure to sully your palate with such decadence, but want to have a play with goats’ milk in the kitchen, I strongly recommend DIY goats’ curd. I make it quite often (short-dated goats’ milk is often on special at my local food emporium) and it’s the sort of kitchen magic trick everyone should know how to perform.
DIY Goats’ Curd
This is about as simple as cooking gets – milk + heat + coagulant + time = soft, creamy goats’ cheese. Smoosh a bit on some toasted baguette, drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and bliss will be yours.
500ml (2 cups) goats’ milk
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
a pinch of salt
Heat the goats’ milk until simmering point. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, until curds have begun to form. While you’re waiting, line a sieve with muslin (I use a very fine cotton table napkin) and set it over a large bowl.
Carefully pour the curds/milk into the sieve. Leave to drain for at least 20 minutes, pressing it gently to squeeze out the whey. If you’re not in a hurry, you can put the sieve/bowl arrangement in the fridge and let it drain for a couple of hours.
When you’re ready, scrape the curds into a small bowl. Use immediately or cover and store in the fridge.
Are you a fan of goats’ produce? Or do you have a good goat joke to share? Let me know!
Goat meat is incredible! We just bought half a goat from a local farm (would have bought the whole thing if there were enough room in the deep freeze) – the loin chops and rack were as exquisite as lamb, if not more so. It's such a shame that it's hard to find anything other than anonymous diced goat meat, or if you're lucky, a shoulder. Goat meat has so much potential beyond curry (wonderful as goat curry is).
Wow, half a goat! You're so lucky. (I have deep freeze envy too… mine has barely enough room for a goat chop.) I think it should be easier to find, too – when I was writing the column I made enquiries at a couple of supermarkets and one of the butchery staff told me that they used to stock it but no one bought it. We need an education campaign!
I had not heard that joke, so I appreciated it. Made me chuckle. So good to hear from you. I am not that keen on goats cheese, but I am always willing to try new things and the goats curd intrigues me a little.