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Slow-Braised Goat Shanks

Slow-Braised Goat Shanks

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Serves 4.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from Internet recipes.

The flavor of this braised goat is mild, not gamey. The slow cooking resulted in meat that was tender and falling from the bone. You could do this recipe with other meats, such as lamb shanks or turkey drumsticks.


4 meaty goat shanks, about 4½ to 5 pounds (2 to 2¼ kg)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron
Juice of 2 limes, about 4 tablespoons
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cups (about 1 liter) concentrated chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
Zest of 1 fresh lime
Zest of 1 orange, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
A few fresh thyme sprigs


Trim any excess fat from the shanks and season with salt. Mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper and turmeric. Sprinkle evenly over the shanks and rub into the meat. Let sit at room temperature at least an hour, or wrap and refrigerate overnight, then bring to room temperature.

Place a Dutch oven or deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When oil is hot, add 2 shanks and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Remove and set aside, then brown the remaining 2 shanks and remove.

Meanwhile, put the saffron in a small bowl with the lime juice and ½ cup warm water. Let steep for 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Add chopped onion to the pot and cook over medium heat until softened and lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Add lime zest, orange zest, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Stir in the saffron mixture. Arrange the shanks in the pot and add the broth. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover the pot.

Transfer the pot to the oven and bake for about 1½ hours, covered, until meat is tender when probed and beginning to fall from the bone. (Contents can be simmered on the stove.) If desired, potatoes and carrots can be added to the pot for the remaining 30 minutes of cooking time.

Transfer the shanks to a deep serving dish and keep warm. Also transfer the potatoes and carrots, if used. Strain the braising juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing with a wooden spoon to extract all the liquid (discard solids). Skim fat, then taste and adjust for salt. Reheat strained juices and pour over the shanks. Combine parsley and reserved orange zest and sprinkle over the top.

Serve in low, wide soup plates, giving each portion a spoonful of the juices. Accompany with steamed Basmati rice, lavash flatbread or a loaf of crusty French bread.


For a richer and more savory flavor to the broth, you can add 1 to 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon. For a smoother flavor you can add 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey. For thicker broth, remove the pot lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking.


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