A kid is a goat that is under a year old. But around 6 months is the best time to slaughter for kid meat. After this time the proteins in the meat change which affects the flavour and texture of the meat. Adult goat meat has a stronger flavour and aroma which is reminiscent of a strong goat’s cheese. The meat is tough with strong collagen strands in the muscles that must be broken down. This makes it ideal for curries and slow-cooked stews with robust flavours that will stand up to the strong flavour and long-slow cooking that will fully break the collagen down.
Kid meat has a much more delicate flavour. It is often compared to lamb as the anatomy of the two animals is almost identical but kid is very lean and lacks the fatty flavour that is characteristic of lamb. I don’t really think you can describe a fundamental flavour anymore than you can describe a colour so the best way is to try it!
This recipe is very simply designed to showcase the flavour of kid goat so the chops are only seasoned with salt and pepper. The sweet potato mash complements the sweetness in the young goat meat. The dish is finished with crispy shallots and a fragrant juniper sauce made with my kid goat stock but you could use good beef or chicken stock.
Kid goat Chops with Sweet Potato Mash and Juniper Jus
Rub the sweet potato with the olive oil and salt and bake in the oven for about an hour until the centre is soft
When the potato is cooked scoop out the flesh and mash it with a fork or pass it through a sieve for an extra smooth mash, then add the butter and seasonings
Put a pan on a medium heat. Sear the chops on both sides until they are just cooked through. Then set aside to rest.
Deglaze the pan with red wine rubbing the bottom to dislodge all the bits. Then add the kid goat stock and juniper berries and reduce until you have a glossy sauce.
For the crispy shallots, heat 1cm of oil in a small pan until a slice of onion dropped in sizzles. Fry the onions in the oil until they are crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper
Serve the chops on top of the mash, garnished with crispy shallots and drizzled with the sauce
If using stock from a cube you will not be able to thicken the sauce by reducing it as the stock will not contain the gelatin from the bones that real stock does. The sauce can be thickened by mixing cold oil with flour and adding this to the sauce and whisking.