Braised Goat Shank Stew

Happy Monday, y’all!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.

I finally got around to making more of Pete the Goat.  There’s not much of him left, I’m afraid – a couple of chops, another rack, a leg and his liver.  That’s all.  I imagine I’ll make more of him before too much longer, though, because this recipe reminded me just how delicious he is.  I’d like to get another goat this fall; maybe even two.

This dish was made with his hind shanks, if I’m not mistaken.  The hind shanks are the part of the leg just above (and below) the knee of his back legs; apparently the leg is the same as a leg of lamb – his, er, backside, plus the upper part of his thigh.  The shanks are a rather tough cut of meat with a lot of connective tissue, so braising seems to be the most common method of cooking it.  I had no problem with that, and as a result the meat was meltingly tender and extremely flavorful.

Despite the fact that goat is classified as red meat and has a reputation as being “gamey”, Pete has a pretty mild flavor, so I used lard to brown it and homemade chicken stock as the braising liquid.  It was a good choice; I think beef stock and bolder seasonings would have overpowered the dish.  I also used what vegetables I had on hand – a Japanese sweet potato, some young carrots and some white Russian kale we’d picked up at the farmer’s market the week before.  I imagine any vegetables and greens that take well to slow cooking would do well in this stew.

If you can’t find goat, or just can’t imagine eating it, chicken thighs would work really well in this, but cut the braising time down by about half.  (Now that I think about it, this would probably be pretty good with rabbit, too.  Hmmm…)

Braised Goat Shank Stew
Braised Goat Shank Stew
Braised Goat Shank Stew
Serves: 3
  • 2 goat shanks (about 1 pound each)
  • 2 tablespoons lard or other cooking fat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 – 5 sprigs thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 4 ounces young carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 6 cups kale, stems removed and torn into pieces
  1. Melt the lard in a pot large enough to hold both shanks over medium-high heat. Season the goat with salt and pepper, and cook in the lard until golden brown on all sides. Add the onion and cook for another minute or two.
  2. Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and basil to the pot with the goat shanks; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
  3. Braise the goat for 3 hours, or until tender and the liquid in the pot has reduced by about half. Remove the shanks from the liquid and pull off of the bones, discarding the bones and any skin or cartilage.
  4. Return the goat meat to the pot; add the potato, carrots and kale. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Taste; season as needed with salt and pepper, and serve.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 453 calories, 17g total fat, 103.9mg cholesterol, 651.8mg sodium, 1650.5mg potassium, 31.4g carbohydrates, 4.5g fiber, 7.3g sugar, 44.5g protein


9 thoughts on “Braised Goat Shank Stew”

  1. Mmm, yum! I really want to have some goat to work with. Gotta see if I can source some here!
    Oh, by the way, love the header, as always. Despite being red and green, which my brain usually associates with Christmas, I find it extremely summery and delightful.

  2. i’m wondering if lamb shanks will work just as well being that they are more readily availabe in my region

  3. Baaaaaaa! 🙂 Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I’ve never had goat – it seems everyone describes any kind of meat that’s not chicken or cow to be ‘gamey’. I bet when it’s cooked ‘right’ it’s not gamey – like how you cook things! 🙂

    1. I’m sure it also depends on how old the goat is. Young goat is delicious. I’ve been told that older goat really does have a much stronger flavor. I’m assuming it’s like the difference between lamb and mutton or veal and beef.

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