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Goat, Cooking and Eating - review

By April 03, 2018 ,

This is the first book from James Whetlor, founder of Cabrito goat meat and a keen advocate of ethical goat farming. While many of us would not necessary consider goat a daily staple or a go-to meat. James makes a good case on why we should consider it and also why more chefs need to put this on their menus.


The book starts out giving us a history and background about the goat industry through the ages and how it is perceived in various cultures for farming cooking and eating. It also gives us a good reason why we should consider goat meat, in particular billy goat meat. As well as ethical reasons, the book then follows with more reasons in the shape of many and varied recipes highlighting goat meat's role in cultures across Europe, India, the Caribbean, China, West Africa and the Middle east.

The recipes take the shape of various forms of cooking and cover everything from slow cooking to BBQ (some of my favourite methods of cooking) to roasting, traditional roasts and bakes. You are greeted with recipes such as suya kid chops, the iconic Caribbean dish curry goat (you can't not have a curry goat recipe in there!), moving to traditional dishes such as souvlaki, shawarma, pastilla, tagine and cassoulet. There are dishes to suit all tastes and all levels of cooking skills and if you want to push the boat out, how to make your own sausages and cook a whole goat as well!

As well as recipes from James himself, he has also given us recipes from the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (one of my food heroes), Olia Hercules (a fellow alumna from my old chef school Leiths), Jeremy Lee, DJ BBQ and Gill Meller to name but a few. The photography by Mike Lusmore is striking and colourful and the dishes are styled simply which I like, it makes the recipes more approachable. I'm a big fan of spice and there are plenty of recipes that feature those elements.


It is also good to know that 50% of the proceeds from the book go to support the charity Farm Africa, who work with local farmers and communities to help them support themselves and fight poverty. There are many good reasons (90 of them) to buy this book, not just to find out more about goat, but  delicious ways of cooking it too! I really enjoyed the diversity of recipes in the book and the fact it incorporated goat into dishes that would not necessarily feature it. Nice to see a nod to West African cooking too with suya and peanut curry dishes, as many of you know I've become a fan in the last few years. I certainly think this book will change people's mind about a not so well known meat and maybe we will start to see it become more widely available in the shops and feature on Restaurant menus too. Here in the Netherlands I know of only two restaurants that feature goat Rijks and Nacarat in Amsterdam. If there are others, do let me know!

Goat is released on April 5th in the UK (currently available on Amazon) and in the US and Australia on the 1st of May. I have also been reliably informed that there is a Dutch version coming out soon and will keep my dutch readers posted as to when.


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