GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Tomorrow is the classic roast, gigot d’agneau, for Easter dinner at our house.
I’ve been longing, however, for the Easter meal I had when I lived on the west coast of Ireland, young goat (kid) stewed gently in Guinness, with prunes, onion and garlic. A packet of kid, labelled “1/2 cabri”, nearly leaped off the shelf at me in the Manor in Sierre, so we’re having an Easter Saturday dinner, Irish style.
I love the combination of the sweet and bitter in the Guinness added to the rich fruit and flavourful vegetables and the delicious taste of kid.The wild Burren hills, perfect goat country, on the west coast of Ireland, county Clare (shot taken in March)
For those who are not familiar with it, kid needs to be cooked until very tender. The meat is somewhat like lamb in taste, but less gamey if you have good quality meat.
It can also be roasted (the whole cabri at the store were out of my budget – and we’re having lamb tomorrow, I remind myself), but several countries have traditional recipes for stewed kid, from Dominican Republic creole dishes to southern Italian ragouts.
Back to Ireland, where my County Clare neighbours raised goats for milk, from which they made beautiful cheese.
The little boys, I’m afraid, had to be dispensed with, just as little boy calves in cheese countries give us fine veal meat. Thus the spring kid dinner for Easter.
A bonus: the kitchen smells heavenly while this is cooking!
What we’re drinking with this
I saved a couple bottles of Guinness for those at my table who want to pair like-to-like, but I’m planning to have my stew with an Italian wine, a dry, rich plummy Amarone (“Argento Amarone della Valpolicella”, CHF19.50 at Manor in Sierre) that I think will match the pruneau flavour nicely. I’ll let you know how it goes. The worst thing that happens is that we save the Amarone for tomorrow’s lamb, after carefully resealing it. That’s a great combination.
On the side: we’ll finish with a green salad with oil and Balsamic vinegar, with green olives and crumbled dry goat’s cheese in the salad, maybe dried tomatoes slivered on top if I have them.
1/2 kid (cabri), cut into 4-5 chunks (1.8kg; note: CHF28.50/kg)3 bottles of Guinness stout (Coop and Manor both sell it)2 cups ( homemade chicken broth (carcass stewed for an hour with 1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 celery stalk, salted)1 Manor packet of freshly dried prunes, 250 g3 medium onions5-8 garlic cloves, not too big
6-8 potatoes, firm varieties, partly peeled
1 tsp fleur de sel de Camargue, “nature sauvage” (Manor carries this as well as the regular version)
1 tsp. Pepe Valle Maggia punto verde Bignasco (Ticino black pepper with wine & spirits)
Pre-heat the oven to 170C.
Brown the onion gently over medium heat for 5 minutes in a heavy pan – I use a Le Creuset pan.
Sprinkle the kid lightly with flour, brown, 2 pieces at a time over medium-high heat just until the meat takes on some colour. Add the garlic and reduce heat, brown garlic gently for 1 minute.Ready for the oven and four hours of gentle stewing. The potatoes can be cooked separately, but this is easy, they steam beautifully and they pick up the flavours
Spread the prunes around the meat, avoiding the bottom of the pan so they won’t stick during cooking.
Add the chicken broth: if you’re using broth you’ve had in your refrigerator for a day, turn up the heat high enough to bring the broth to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.
Pour 2 bottles of the Guinness over the meat and onions. Once it settles and the head on the Guinness dies down, add the potatoes, placing them on stop of the meat so they are not sitting in the Guinness.
If needed, to keep the meat in liquid, add the third bottle of the stout.
Final touch: use a spoon for the salt and pepper, both of which are slightly sticky, then pinch a bit on top of each potato. Place a bunch of parsley, preferably flat leaf, on top, out of the liquid.
Cover and leave in the oven for 4 hours. Check occasionally that the meat is not sticking, and spoon some of the liquid over the top of the meat to keep it very moist.