This was our Christmas dinner and I’m just a bit slow at posting it. Having a whole leg of any large animal and taking 7 hours to cook it will make any day a holiday. Though this seems a bit complicated and the flavors are triumphant, it really is easy to put together and the long cooking time just makes your kitchen warm and smell amazing.
Basting the meat every 30 minutes can seem tedious, but what better way to be attentive to a special dinner without actually having to labor over it? Have confidence in a dish like this. It’s unexpected because it’s special and rare, the way the best, big meals should be. The cooking ensures the meat is tender as can be and the anchovies, tomatoes, and rosemary are actually quite traditional pairings.
This would be wonderful with a leg of lamb, of course, as most lamb and goat recipes are interchangeable. This goat came from my parents farm and he lived a lovely, happy life with hay and sunshine and Aurelia tagging along with her grandparents to feed him. I can’t think of what could have been a better Christmas dinner. It was just delicious. Served with baby kale and bacon salad, topped with an aged balsamic vinegar and roasted squash.
Slow-Roasted Leg of Goat with Anchovies, Tomatoes, Lemon, and Rosemary
Adapted from Howling Duck Ranch
For the seasoning paste:
1 Tbs dried rosemary
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbs)
10 filets of anchovies packed in olive oil, drained
3 cloves garlic, peeled, germ removed if any
2 tsp dried mustard
3 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil
For the meat:
5 pound bone-in goat leg
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 large onion, halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3-4 Tbs olive oil
Using a blender or mortar and pestle, combine the rosemary, lemon juice, anchovies, peeled garlic, mustard powder, pepper, tomato paste, vinegar, and oil. Blend until the mixture turns into a coarse paste.
Place the leg of goat in a baking dish large enough to accommodate it, and rub in the seasoning paste, taking care to spread it well, and on all sides. (Clean your hands meticulously before and after the rubbing.) Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 3 or 4.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring it back to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish. Add the garlic, onion, and tomato sauce around the meat. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil. (I actually had bacon grease from baking bacon for the baby kale salad, so I used that instead of the olive oil. Why not?)
Cover the dish with a fitting lid or cover with a sheet of foil. Place the dish in the oven to cook for 3 1/2 hours, basting the meat with the cooking juices every hour or so. Lower the heat to 300 degrees and cook for another 3 1/2 hours, basting the meat every 30 minutes or so.
Let rest on the counter for 10 minutes when it’s done roasting. Carve the meat and serve with the tomatoes and onions on the side with the cooking juices. Also, this is lovely topped with garlic Greek yogurt (mince a clove of garlic and add it to a cup of plain Greek yogurt) and capers or green olives.