Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Goat Ragu in Open Ravioli

Goat meat was, until recently, new to me. If I’m honest it’s not something I’d considered really, I don’t know why, it was just something I didn’t really understand and therefore trust. A sort of UKIP approach to cooking, this of course is not good.
It took in fact, the gift of a goat leg from my daughter’s boyfriend, Will, to get me to try it.
I would like to point out at this juncture that it’s not a local custom for a potential suitor to offer his beloveds father sacrificial offerings to receive his blessing. However it can’t hinder his prospects so far be it from me to dissuade him
Right then goat, now I’ve tried it, it is, taste wise, somewhere between Lamb and Mutton, in fact I had cook it like mutton i.e. slowly to get it meltingly tender.
Using white wine as opposed to red, made the dish lighter and as whole the it was slightly sweeter than my usual beef and pork ragu
I used the open ravioli for aesthetic purposes plus it gave me a chance to improve my pasta making skills. I have had the ragu with spaghetti and it tastes just as good.
The ricotta adds smooth creaminess to the dish that goes very well, its worth though, serving this on the side as you might want experience the true goatyness of the dish first

Goat Meat 500g, Trimmed and cut into chunks
One onion diced
3 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
2 Carrots diced
1 Stick of Celery finely chopped
4 or 5 Stems of Thyme
2 Bay leaves
1 400g tin of tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato pure
200 ml of dry white wine
260g cubetti di pancetta or unsmoked streaky bacon
750 ml of chicken stock

Pasta Sheets
Ricotta cheese
A Few sage leaves
A few small thyme leaves

In a large saucepan, heat a small amount of olive oil and fry the pancetta for 5 mins until browned.
Remove the pancetta and fry the goat in batches until brown
Remove all the goat and tip in the onions, fry gently until soft, stirring well to avoid sticking and so that onions pick up all of the meaty flavours
Now add the carrots and celery , and fry for a couple of mins
Make a well in the centre of the veg mix, add the tomato puree and cook it out for about 2 mins
Add the garlic, stir well and cook for another min
Throw in the Thyme and Bay stir again
Add the wine and reduce slightly
Now add the tomatoes and stock, stir and bring to the boil
Add the browned goat and pancetta back to pan, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and simmer for 4 hours or longer if you want. Keep an eye on the simmer make sure its not bubbling too much and monitor the liquid levels.
What you’re looking for is a rich sauce where the meat falls apart

At this point you could just cook up some spaghetti and you’d be good to go

To make the open ravioli cook your pasta sheets as per instruction until they’re soft but not mushy
In the meantime, heat a decent amount of butter with a little olive oil in a large frying pan, then as its bubbling fry the sage leaves until crispy, remove the leaves and reduce the heat to barely a simmer.
When the pasta is cooked, using tongs remove from the water and to the pan with butter, gently cook for a further minute
Plate up alternative layers of buttered pasta, ragu and if you want it dabs of ricotta.

Finish with a top layer of pasta, a drizzle of butter from the pan, thyme leaves, crispy sage leaves and more dabs of ricotta