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Roasted Local Goat Tacos


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1 leg of goat (5 to 8 pounds), bone-in

1 cup distilled white vinegar

1 cup olive oil

5 cloves garlic, smashed with back of a knife

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons fresh black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground cumin

3 strips lemon peel

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons ancho chile powder

1 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes


In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except meat and blend with a whisk. Place goat in roasting pan or bowls that will fit in the refrigerator and pour marinade over meat, toss to combine, cover, and refrigerate about 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350° F with rack in middle.

Nestle pieces in a hot sauté pan (you might need two depending on the quantity of meat) and brown on all sides (this could take 10 minutes), moving around and out to make room for more as needed. cover with foil and move to oven. Roast for 2-3 hours, until meat, is falling off the bone (see photo above left)

Remove from oven and let the meat cool in its juices until cool enough to handle. Pull meat from the bone, discarding bone, and fat. Pour liquid through a sieve into a fat-separating measuring cup or a tall straight-sided vessel such as a large canning jar. Let the sauce sit until fat separates out and floats to the top. (see photo above right)

Meanwhile, start shredding the meat off the bone with your fingers. Pick through the solids in sieve and separate out some of the tomato and garlic bits. Add them to the meat. Discard remaining solids such as bones, chunks of fat and bay leaves.

When fat has separated from meat juices, skim off as much fat as possible and discard. Pour sauce over meat and turn to coat. At this point, meat can be refrigerated again, covered, for 24 hours. When ready to serve, turn meat to coat with sauce and place in a suitable heavy oven-safe dish, covered tightly with foil, and cook until bubbling, about 30 minutes, removing cover for the last few minutes to get a crust on the top layer of meat.

Serve goat with warm tortillas, chopped onion, sprigs of cilantro, shaved radishes, sour cream, crumbled cheese such as queso fresco, cotija or a dry goat cheese, grilled green onion, sliced avocados, flame-broiled strips of chile pepper, your favorite salsa, small cubes of pineapple, etc.

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