With goat meat making up over 60% of red meat consumed worldwide, it’s no surprise that the demand for goat meat is on the rise here in the United States. As a nation, we import over $30 million in goat meat annually, with over half of that coming from Australia. What is a surprise is how difficult it is to find in the grocery store.
Here in the US, goat meat is far more popular with immigrants. It’s a cultural choice, like that of lamb meat. Goat meat, also known as chevon, is a popular choice of meat in Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian, African, Greek and Southern Italian cuisines.
Nutrients in Goat Meat
The potential health benefits of goat meat are: a rich source of proteins, helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, promotes muscular health with powerful antioxidants, and has low sodium content.
Goat meat is a phenomenal source of protein, is easily digestible, and when not adulterated with growth hormones, an extremely healthy lean meat. It is ax excellent alternative to beef and pork, and even chicken. It has fewer calories, less fat and helps lower cholesterol levels.
Folks with high blood pressure, when wanting a delicious meat, should consume meats with low cholesterol and low levels of sodium to promote good heart health. Goat meat offers both of these qualities.
Here is a comparison of calories and fat in 3-ounce servings of goat, beef, and chicken:
- Goat: 122 calories 2.6 grams of fat
- Beef: 179 calories 7.9 grams of fat
- Chicken: 162 calories 6.3 grams of fat
Notice the low-fat content of goat meat. It also has more iron and roughly the same amount of protein compared to beef, pork, or chicken. It is a high quality lean protein.
Chevon provides all of the essential amino acids that are needed for the overall health and development of our bodies. It is low in cholesterol, high in protein, and a good source for people with iron deficiency anemia. Pregnant women that have low iron would also benefit greatly from goat meat consumption. It’s also a good source for those who have low potassium.
Vitamins in Goat Meat
Goat meat has an array of essential nutrients. It has high levels of Vitamin B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 performs a variety of functions in the body and is extremely versatile. Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in the body’s production of red blood cells as well as keeping the nervous system functioning properly. B12 also plays an important role in our blood circulation. Blood circulation helps rid our bodies of excess homocysteine, which can cause blood clots.
Other vitamins in goat meat are Vitamins C, E, A, and K. There are also micronutrients and important minerals found in chevon that are great for the body: Calcium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium.
Cooking Goat Meat
If you’re looking for a healthy new protein-rich diet that’s not white meat like chicken or turkey, goat meat should be first on your list to try. It’s considered a delicacy and usually enjoyed when dining in a Middle Eastern or Indian restaurant. It does not have a gamey flavor and tastes like something between pork and dark meat chicken. It has a sweet, subdued flavor profile.
Because goat meat is so lean, the secret when preparing it is to not overcook. Braising or cooking with moist heat, at lower temperatures, preserves the tenderness. Slow cookers and even smokers are best to use because they keep the moisture in by not dehydrating with high heat. I like to use my Masterbuilt electric smoker as a low-heat outdoor oven.
Breeds of Meat Goats
There are many different breeds of meat goats. Not all are ideal for meat consumption. Some are dairy goats, some are just pets. Here is a list of meat goat breeds:
- The Black Bengal goat is probably the best meat goat breed. It’s an excellent quality of meat. This goat is small in stature and easy to care for.
- Boer goats are larger in frame. They’re the most popular meat goat. Boer, pronounced like a male pig, is hardy and resistant to disease. They live well in hot, dry climates.
The first goats were actually domesticated in north Africa
- A Kiko goat is a relatively new breed of meat goat. It is hardy and can survive in most conditions. Kiko goats can be a more economical breed than Boer goats because they prefer rough grazing territory and require very little attention.
- The Nubian goat is a dual purpose goat used for meat as well as milk.
- Rangeland goats are born and bred in the wild, mainly in their homeland of Australia. Over 90% of Australian chevon is that of the Rangeland goat. They also produce exceptional milk.
- The Spanish goat was the standard meat goat before the Boer goats became available in the United States. Even though they’re a good meat goat, they are primarily used for breeding due to their hardiness.
Regardless of the breed, the goat offers an excellent type of red meat. You can’t go wrong consuming goat on a regular basis. Here are a few recipes using the very versatile red meat of goats:
Goat Meat Recipes
Curry Goat Meat
- 3-5 lbs. goat meat
- 3 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 lg. onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt to taste or seasoned salt
Clean and wash goat meat. Add curry powder, black pepper, seasoned salt, chopped onion, chopped garlic. Rub seasonings well into goat meat. On a cooking pan, place 1 tablespoon of butter or oil, whichever you prefer. Pour meat into a cool pan with oil. Stir, slow cooking until tender.
- 2 lbs. goat meat
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 medium sized potatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 tsp. oregano leaves
- 3 cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pkg. Sazon Goya (seasonings)
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
Wash the goat meat with the lemon juice and vinegar. Let meat stand with that for 24 hours in the frig. This is called brining. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover and put on low heat. Slow cook until tender.
If you are looking for a healthy red meat full of important nutrients without unnecessary calories, something comparable to grass-fed beef, goat meat is your ticket.