Goat stew for Easter.

A bit late.. but I got some good halal goat in OPKS. The recipe was originally for lamb.



1 tbspn olive oil,  750g goat shoulder, cut into 4-5cm cubes

Halal goat

1 onion, finely diced,  4 garlic cloves, crushed,  1 can plum tomatoes, chopped, 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

30g dried apricots, roughly chopped, pinch of saffron, goat or lamb stock or water


1 tspn ground cumin, 1 tspn ground coriander, 1 tspn ground ginger,1.5 tspn smoked paprika, 1 tspn turmeric, Half tspn ground chilli

Salt and freshly ground pepper

sazon chiva
seasoned goat meat


4 tbspn finely chopped coriander, Half-1 tspn of Harissa paste, zest and juice of half a lemon, 1 tbspn honey


300gm pumpkin, peeled, chopped into 1-2cm cubes and roasted in olive oil with a little seasoning.


Place the olive oil in a large saucepan or casserole pan and put it over a moderate-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion to the pan and sweat for one minute until transparent.

Place all the spice mixture ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Toss the goat in the spices so that it is well coated.

Add the spiced goat and garlic to the pan and seal the goat on all sides so that it is browned.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes, cinnamon stick, apricots, saffron and enough stock to just cover the goat. Bring to the oil then reduce to a slow simmer. Leave the goat to cook for 1-1.5 hours or until the meat is tender, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon (add more stock or water if the liquid is below the goat). (You can do this on top of the stove or in the oven. If the stew is too watery, drain off the excess liquid into a saucepan and reduce until thickened. Then return to the stew.

Stir in 3 tblspns of the chopped coriander, harissa paste (more or less to taste), lemon zest, juice and honey.

Garnish with roasted pumpkin and scatter over remaining coriander

goat stew
In progress
goast for Easter
Easter dinner

PDX July 18-21, 2012

The temps were no higher than 80F. Quite a change from KC’s triple digits.
We hit the Deschutes Brewery (great steamer clams there) and the Rogue Brewery “substations” in the Pearl District. Deschutes had better beers & food. Esp. the draft only Arsenal XPA. Deschutes is $6.99 in the grocery stores there. Perhaps Boulevard might take a hint.

Looks like Rogue’s VOODOO DOUGHNUT Maple Bacon ale is being remaindered with the pink t-shirts. Bad idea, maple bacon ale.

At the Japanese garden in Washington Park, PDX.

Great Lebanese at Habibi and great sushi at SinJu. We were staying in the Pearl District and had no need of a car. $2.50 on the light rail to the airport from downtown.

Lamb for Thanksgiving in KCMO

No turkey for us. One of our familials really can’t abide turkey. I went shopping the day before Thanksgiving and got half a leg of lamb that they cut for me at a fine market called McGonigle’s. No waiting, no crowding. I was pleased at how well behaved folks were. I was noticing pre-holiday nuttiness and angst the weekend before in RVA in the grocery stores.

I took the lamb out Thanksgiving morning to get it to room temperature. A few hours later, I slivered up a bunch of fresh garlic and cut some fresh rosemary off the stems. I poked a bunch of holes into the fat side of the lamb and stuffed garlic slivers and rosemary into them.

Legolamb prepped for the oven with garlic & rosemary

I had the oven set at 450F and placed the lamb pan in the oven and then dropped the temp to 350F. We figured the lamb would take 2 hours & 20 minutes. I took a quick nap and found that the oven had only gone down to 400F. I figured I should check it at an hour and a half. The lamb appeared to be ready after two hours. I cut the oven off and let it set in the oven for another 15 minutes. I yanked it out and here is what we had.

roast lamb

It was wonderful.

first cut
Be still my heart!

And here is what it looked like on the inside.

punkin pie
A really fine pie.

Other dishes included a rice casserole, brussels sprouts, and pumpkin pie.

The lamb fond and the lamb bones made a lovely barley soup that we had for several days afterwards.

End of Two weeks in Kansas City.

Well, the high point turned out to be during the 4.5 hour layover in DFW where I got to meet one of my culinary heroes. I was at a gate in the D concourse where my Richmond flight was to leave after a flight to Mexico City left. It turned out the flight to Mexico City was delayed and an elderly lady sat down across from me. I noticed that DSK was inscribed upon her rolling duffle and she looked familiar. I went over to her and said:

“Pardon me, are you Diana Kennedy?”

She said she indeed was Diana Kennedy and we had about a 10 minute chat where I told her that I had most of her cookbooks and had really appreciated her work. She told me that she’s working with a couple of ethnobotanists on a huge volume on chiles and that she and José Andrés are planning to do a presentation at the Kennedy Center on the Deiz y Seis de Septiembre.

I asked if I could take a photo of her and she said “Get someone to take one of the both of us!” So here it is..

Una encuentra con la maestra!

After this, I had to check the departure screen and had to hoof it to concourse C.  I heard some guys saying that they’d seen Roger Staubach in the concourse.

Roger who?


The two weeks in KC were quite good, BTW.  I saw my wife,  and my son and his wife (for a few days on their way back to Toronto) and my mother-in-law, who had arrived Tuesday from Oregon.

We ate asian dumplings at BLUE KOI

Pork dumplings at BLUE KOI (we ate there three times!)

Great mezze at LITTLE EGYPT (sorry, no photo but here’s one of the Farmer’s Market which opens at 5:30AM. These guys aren’t “hobby farmers“! No sir!)


Samosas, kebabs, & rooh afza (a chilled & delicious pink rosewater & milk drink) at CHAI SHAI

chai shai
Lamb kebab & rooh afza (we ate at Chai Shai twice)

and I made the rounds of various taquerias getting a fix of serious Mexican food which is not to common around here, except at LA MILPA

La Guacamalera (they make guacamole at your table in some places)

And several BOULEVARD ales were quaffed. BTW, BOULEVARD has joined up with DESCHUTES brewery from Bend, Oregon and they will be in the KC area in a few months. Be still my heart.

Olio: Dec 22 — Gigot a la Sept Heures! Dec 27

No one’s written up the ER meet up at Olio a week ago. Here goes..

The Wine Lady had a tasting of Central California zinfs and a wonderfully jammy bottle from Amador County.  I’d like to get some more of that, for sure.

wine lady
Answering questions about tasty wine.

Some folks bought food to share. Jason (our host) got a Pizza margherita and I ordered a nice platter of French cheeses.

fromage platter
quel fromage!

I had to leave before it ended.  Oona was coming in from KC and we’ve had a lot of work to do, getting the townhouse ready to put on the market. No rest for the wicket.


On the 27th, I cooked a Belmont Butchery piece of boneless leg of lamb. It turned out wonderful.

Gigot a la Sept Heures!

boneless lamb
Belmont Butchery's boneless lamb

I roasted this for 6 hours on a bed of garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, savory, & thyme at 300 F.

roasting bed
Rosemary, thyme & garlic.. pre-roasting

The roasted garlic cloves were like candy. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of the finished dish until we had devoured part of it. We served this with an Albariño and a bottle of Fin du Monde.

the remains.
We served the lamb with roast brussel sprouts, asparagus, a green salad, and white beans. It was wonderful.

Tacos sabrosos en Hooville y en RVA..

You may already aware of this, but RVA’s Mexican food presence is rather slim compared to what one finds in Charlottesville.  There is some good Mexican food  here, but it’s limited to La Milpa and Cerro Azul and by the fact that Hondureños, Salavadoreños, y Guatemaltecos are quite numerous. Pupusas & gallo pinto may be tasty, but they damn sure ain’t Mexican food. And Cielito Lindo is on the yuppified side, fer sure. Too Cancun-y. One gets tired of  aging frats & sorority types swilling down margaritas and hollering nasally.

The taco truck and the food stands in Charlottesville are head and shoulders above what we have here.. some even make their own tortillas on the spot.  Like in the real world.  Oona & I were pleasantly surprised to  find this out at the Charlottesville Farmers Market near the downtown mall last September. I hear this can happen even in North Carolina. (Questions: why are the local restaurants so chintzy with the tortillas? And why is there no praline or sherbet?)

Yesterday, we hit La Michoacana Taqueria in Charlottesville and were quite pleased with what we got there.

The  Ленин tortilla press.
The Ленин tortilla press.

I got three tacos de barbacoa de borrego (lamb barbecue) and I knew that even back in San Antonio or Austin, I was going to have to hunt to find something like this.  Lamb or mutton is a Central Mexican dish, not something from area across from South Texas.

tacos de borrego
tacos de borrego

But, oh, they were good.  Oona had a huge tamale which was ok, but I make better ones with less masa at Christmas. Be careful with their salsas & their marinated onions & carrots. The onions & carrots have some habanera chile in the mix. Son muy picantes.

Today, I went by La Milpa, because I wanted some decent corn tortillas. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had their  outdoor carnita cooking setup going.

carnita cooker
la plancha o el comal
la plancha or el comal

I picked up a half pound of carnitas (pork cooked in a kettle or cazuela) and took them home for a pleasant lunch, using the El Milagro tortillas and the red and green salsas supplied with the carnitas.

carnitas con salsas
carnitas con salsas
a nice lunch