Friday, April 29, 2011

RECIPE - Braised Kid (Cabrito ao Molho)

No, the kid in the title of this post does NOT refer to one's own offspring, but rather to the meat of a young goat. (Which reminds me of a amusing true story about a Brazilian friend of mine, who doesn't speak much English and who visited the USA last year. While there, he went into a McDonald's and shocked the attendant by mis-ordering - instead of a grilled chicken sandwich, he told her he'd like to order "one grilled children, please.")

This recipe, which calls for braising small pieces of goat meat (cabrito) in a tomato- and coconut milk-based sauce, comes from the northeastern Brazilian state of Piauí. Traditionally the poorest of all the states of Brazil and among those with the hottest, driest climatic conditions, Piauí has a long history of capriculture - the raising of domesticated goats. It also is famous for its traditional dishes made with products of this animal, dishes such as this one, and the famous (or infamous) buchada, a Brazilian relative of the haggis made by stuffing a goat's stomach with various goat innards.

This braised-kid dish is much less of a cultural challenge than is buchada, and would be a good introduction to goat meat for those not familiar with it. As mentioned in the previous post, goat meat is becoming increasingly available in North America and Europe, and is well-worth adding to your culinary repertoire due to its nutritional and health values.
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RECIPE - Braised Kid (Cabrito ao Molho)
Serves 6

4 lbs (2 kgs) goat or kid meat, cut into small pieces, bone-in
juice of 2 fresh limes
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp powdered cumin
1/2 cup tomato paste
5 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cups (1 liter) water
1/4 cup chopped green onions, green part only
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup coconut milk
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Put the pieces of goat meat in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the lime juice over the pieces, tossing them with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly. Pour enough boiling water over the meat to cover, let stand for 5 minutes, then drain the meatand return it to the mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the garlic, cumin and tomato paste. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Reserve.

In a large heavy saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and green pepper and cook until the onions are lightly golden. Add the reserved goat meat and continue cooking until the meat has taken on color. Pour over the 4 cups water, bring quickly to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook, with the pan partially covered, for 45-60 minutes, checking from time to time to make sure the dish isn't drying out. If it is, add additional boiling water. When the meat is tender and the sauce thickened, add the coconut milk, cook for about one more minute until the coconut milk is heated, then remove from heat and place into a large serving bowl or on a platter. Sprinkle with the chopped green onions and cilantro and serve immediately. Accompany with plain white rice or mashed potatoes.

Recipe translated and adapted from Cozinha Regional Brasileira by Abril Editora.

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