Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Seven-hour Goat Leg, Carrot Purée, Watercress, Pistachios and Naan With 2013 Donkey & Goat Carignane

Eat more goat.

Because goat is good. And cheap. Go to Farm City on Devon, people. Farm City on Devon. When we moved to Chicago 11 years ago, our first meat purchase at Paulina Meat Market felt like we'd made a quantum leap in the quality of our meat, and food in general. The discovery of Farm City in the last year or so feels like another step forward in quality and pleasure. This is fantastic stuff. If you find food to be merely sustenance, that's too bad. Winnowing something you do at least twice a day, something with the potential to offer so much joy down to simply 'energy' feels sad to me.

This meal had a passing resemblance to one of our favorite meals over the last few years, the place where great goat became known to us, at Komi in D.C..

It's well-done goat, a seven-hour roast of goat, slathered with harissa paste, cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, bay, verjus, etc. (recipe here - Molly Stevens, modified to a slow roast in a closed dutch oven). The heat from the harissa mellowed out in the roasting, turning this goat into delicious and balanced goat. It's not medium-rare goat, which was so damn close to Komi's goat, but this is perfect build-your-own goat bites with these accompaniments:

1. Watercress, pistachio and orange-blossom salad (Ligaya Mishan)

2. Spicy Carrot Purée (Claudia Roden)

3. Homemade naan with nigella and fennel seeds (Aarti Sequeira)

All three recipes followed to the letter. All of them easy, with enormous pay-off by themselves and relative to the work involved.

Naan topped with goat-tomato-onion-juice, followed by carrot purée and a heap of watercress and herbs. Pick and choose, mix and match. This meal was about 20 mini-flatbread bites of some of the best food we've had this year.

Served with 2013 Donkey & Goat Old Vine Carignane Testa Vineyard Mendocino ($30 - Binny's). Nice plum, nice funk after the clean, polished front entrance. Pure fruit, medium length, maybe a touch young, as it didn't stretch itself out much. Missed the floral and mineral notes from the wine notes. Pleasant, but not what we were looking for here. With carignan, we want that country feel, a rustic burliness that shows up just when you think it's a fine enough, light-ish quaffer. Good carignan is like a movie that takes a perfectly dark turn. Didn't find that here, at least with this food. But Donkey & Goat is basically across the street from Broc Cellars in Berkeley. That trip is gonna happen sometime.

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