Goat; Do you remember the first time?

Apologies to Pulp on my thread title.

I love goat bit where I am (UK) it’s not that popular. There are a number of historical, cultural and environmental reasons for this.
There is goat but you have to know where to look.
Many cuisines use use goat but in my part of South London I bet most people first encountered goat eating curried goat from Caribbeans places.

Goat may be common where you are but if not it would be interesting to find out which cuisine introduced you to goat.

Birria, Mexican goat stew, at a little hole in the wall in SF’s Mission District over 20 years ago. I can sometimes get it at my Latino market.

My first experience eating goat came in college. A good friend’s mother and grandmother had come up from Puerto Rico to visit him. While in town, they asked to use my kitchen* to prepare some of his favorite dishes from home. Among those dishes was a large pot of a spicy goat stew and plantains - each new to me. Although the women had made more than enough food for everyone in the house, only the four of us ate that dinner (which was probably good because I’m not sure we even had a fifth plate). I loved it all, though I wouldn’t have goat again for several years.

Added bonuses to the days worth of cost-free meals left in the fridge were the extra spices they had purchased for the meal, a couple of new pots, and the fact that they cleaned the entire kitchen!

  • So named due not only to the fact that I was the only guy in the house who could cook, but also the only one who brought so much as a knife and frying pan.
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When “The Olive and the Caper” was COTM during March 2012 I had a chance to taste goat meat for the very first time: Roasted Goat with Mountain Herbs and Potatoes, a recipe from Greece. I cooked it myself.

Kid goat hindquarters, leg and loin sections, marinated in lots of garlic; thyme; bay leaves; Greek oregano, hot paprika, S & P, red wine vinegar for 24 hours. Roasted on a bed of seasoned sliced potatoes. Utterly delicious.

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It was in Malaysia in 1975, and it was either Indian or Malay food, probably Indian in the Punjabi Muslim restaurant called Alim in the Pasar Chow Kit area. I remember having lots of good Indian goat curry and satay kambing (goat satay). I also remember when we were given a delicious, aromatically seasoned goat head as leftovers from a big feast when I was living in a Malay village in the state of Terengganu on the East Coast of the Peninsula.

I like goat very much and often order it when it’s on the menus of Indian restaurants in New York.

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I first tried it in the late '70’s. I noticed a sign for bbq goat in a tiny N. Florida town and was intrigued. It was good bbq but due to the sauce I still wasn’t sure what goat tasted like.

I’ve had it half a dozen times since in spicy Caribbean preparations. I’ve enjoyed them all but would like to try goat cooked in a recipe where I can actually taste the flavor of the meat.

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The first time I had goat, it was prepared by an Indian friend, from a goat she had butchered by a local farmer. She intended KID but he gave her a full grown goat instead. It was still delicious, and because it was “hand” butchered, as it were, it was not all full of bony splinters from being hacked apart willy-nilly with a meat cleaver.

I had previously often seen it on menus in Indian restaurants. I have had goat since but it is never any good in any restaurant I’ve ever ordered it - I’m sure there are places where they get good goat/kid that has been properly butchered, but I’ve never come across one. I’ll occasionally try it off a buffet (and always in an Indian restaurant) but I have yet to come across good goat meat outside of my friend’s locally sourced and home prepared fare.

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I think it was in Mexico at El Cabrito in Acapulco about 10 years ago. I don’t eat a lot of goat, but I have had it deliciously prepared in a spicy Korean stew with perilla leaves and in a spicy Senegalese curry.

Ca. 1977-8, Cadillac Bar, Houston. It was a new, hot Mexican place, taking it’s name from a famous place either in Mexico City or Nuevo Laredo, I forget which. We were having a staff party and an Hispanic staff member, who liked to point out his ancestry was Spanish, not Mexican, ordered cabrito and shared a bite or two with those who were interested.

Within a few years, the Pappas family started opening their Pappasito’s Cantina’s all over town and cabrito was a big hit on the menu.

Today it’s widely available both because of a big Hispanic presence and also a big Muslim population. There’s a little Pakistani place near me that does a pretty good Goat Keema. I can get packaged goat at a major supermarket near me and there are many more Halal butchers than there are Kosher and they all will have some goat, very commonly whole leg but also whole head.

Many tortillerias offer birria as a weekend special, though it tends to be only so-so. The very best birria stand in town was just a mile from me but lost it’s building due to a new Aldi going in. He was so popular I’m sure he’ll pop up somewhere else but I haven’t found him yet.

Oh and there is the World Goat Cookoff in Brady, TX, every year.

many years ago, I was invited to a cricket match between a local Caribbean social club and the crew of a visiting British naval vessel.

Afterwards, everyone went to the clubhouse, where everyone was enjoying the tender, succulent curry dish. One of the sailors asked what it was, and the answer was “curry goat”.

A few paled and pushed their plates away – I figured well, hell – I liked it before I knew what it was, and it’ll probably taste just as good. If everybody in the room is eating it, it probably isn’t gonna hurt me.

Still tend to order it when I find it…my butcher carries it, and I’ve been toying with finding a good recipe.

Birria . Love it . Don’t remember the first time . Although Huevos de toros I remember .

To me it’s a tiny bit gamy (which I don’t mind at all) but not overly so. Something like lamb but not beef. I really need to get more it for another recipe.

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Like BruceSW above, I’m in Houston so my first goat was served as grilled cabrito at some hole in the wall back in the '70s.

These days, I mostly get it at local South Asian spots Biryani Pot and Nirvana in masalas. In retrospect, the curries could be just about any meat and taste pretty similar. The cabrito really spotlighted the taste and texture of the goat.

Not sure if this counts, but I also eat goat cheeses regularly and goat butter from time to time.

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The first goat I tried was in the California suburbs some time in the 70’s at a pool party. my sister and I were so happy to see that someone brought a goat for us to play with. Well no, at some point we found its head in a bucket. I think they cooked it on a spit. I did try a piece and hated it but I think that I was just sad about the goat.

I tried it again sometime in the 90’s. It was a Jamaican curry made by my hairdresser. It was wonderful. I think I had it in an Indian curry several years ago at an buffet and it was good but not as good as hers.

I was in Guadalajara a few years ago where I tried the birria at several places throughout the city. That is among some of my favorite food experiences. The goat was good and it was a great way to explore different areas of the city.

I am glad you started this thread. I forgot that I bought some frozen goat a month or so ago. I had planned to try my hand at birria but now I’m thinking that I should try that Jamaican curry.

First time was in San Antonio a very long time ago, and we were glad for the daring.

Since then we’ve enjoyed it elsewhere in the States, and rather recently missed the opportunity for a visiting Jamaican cook to honor it because we didn’t know at the time that she was using chicken when all she had to is ask us where to go . . . we still savored every bite of her ersatz curry.

The first goat I recall eating was only a few years ago - a torta at XOCO in Chicago. Like some other posters here, I grew up in Houston so it is quite possible I had it before and just don’t realize/remember. The best goat I ever had was this summer. We went to a kickstarter appreciation dinner. Almost everything was cooked over fire. The goat was amazing. Even my goat hating husband raved about it.

This has been an enjoyable thread to keep up with. Thanks.

But, it also has me thinking. A couple years ago, with the advances in smokers and the consequent explosion of barbecue restaurants across the country, I was convinced that both goat and mutton would start showing up on more menus. Truth is, it never happened - even the generally more sellable lamb hasn’t really found much favor in such places.

Personally, I think those meats make great barbecue. I’m wondering, outside of regional spots in Kentucky or the Caribbean (and the backyards of goons like me), is anybody seeing this treat?

Some old line Texas places have long had meats other than the trinity of beef brisket, sausage and pork ribs on the menu. Gonzales Food Market does a wide variety of meats, including lamb ribs. Cooper’s in Llano, and presumably at all their other locations now, has cabrito. There used to be a place in Navasota, Ruthie’s, that did mutton. Haven’t heard anything about that one in several years.

The trendy meats in recent years have included beef ribs. Lots of people doing that now; it used to be Gonzales was one of only a very few. And pulled pork! A few years ago, that was very hard to find in Houston, but lots of places do it now. I’ve read one reason beef ribs became so popular among pitmasters was because brisket got so expensive.

At Killen’s in Pearland, a local, highly acclaimed favorite that still hasn’t gotten much publicity outside of the Houston area except among real hard-core bbq fanatics, smoked fat is the new paradigm. He does smoked, bone-in pork belly and uses prime beef for his fatty brisket.

Pappa Charlie’s is another local operation that has gone very quickly from hobbyist/competition to a very successful trailer and now a brick and mortar place on the east side of downtown, near the Dynamo stadium. The pitmaster likes to experiment. He’s done jerk-spiced tri-tip and smoked masala-spiced lamb from what I’ve read. I haven’t been yet but Doobie Wah has as I recall and may be able to report.

In the mid to late 70’s my supermarket in Providence RI carried goat fairly often – usually chops or stew meat. My roommate and I loved the chops and could afford them (goat meat was cheap). I brought some home to my parents who promptly stuck them in the freezer. When they had house guests snowed in with them during the Blizzard of '78 they ran low on food and ending up eating the goat chops out of desperation – and they all loved them! All these years later those house guests still talk about it.

More recently I have seen goat at an Indian buffet where it was fairly good and have seen the meat for sale at the Norwich VT Farmers Market but frozen in packages bigger than I wanted to buy. But I remain sort of amazed that a meat which is so popular in so many parts of the world is not more readily available in this country.


I had a curry in Little India in Singapore. Various staff kept coming up to the table to tell me it was mutton, and then the chef himself popped out to let me know. Not that I was bothered (more disturbed about the cleanliness of the place, tbh), but having visited a butchery counter shortly after lunch, I realised they meant goat!

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