Nigerian dwarf meat and Goat Goulash recipe

Goat Goulash

We have fallen in love with goat meat all over again, and it’s all because of a goat we called Horny Dude. Time for true confessions here. In the fall of 2016, a doe gave birth to a single buckling, and she was the only goat to give birth that fall. About a month later, I was teaching a goat class, and someone asked, “When are you going to disbud that goat?” I looked to where the person was pointing and saw the one-month-old buckling with little horns peaking through the hair on top of his head. I gasped. Then I calmly responded, “Well, that’s what happens when you have a doe give birth in the fall when no one else does, so you’ve totally forgotten about the need to disbud kids.”

Later that day I told my husband about the little buck. There was no way we were going to attempt to disbud a buckling with little horns. That would have been far too traumatic for him and us. The other down side to being the lone kid born in the fall is that there was no companion I could sell with him to a pet home after he was wethered.

So, we decided he’d be raised for meat. There would be no trauma of disbudding or weaning for him, and he could stay with his mother and nurse as long as he wanted. My husband would originally refer to him as “the horny dude” since he was the only horned goat in the herd, and eventually it just became his name.

Fast forward a year and Horny Dude was bigger than his mom and still nursing. When we took lambs into the locker for processing last fall, he went with them. We’ve butchered goats at various ages and stages through the years, but we haven’t done it very often. Usually we only butcher wethers if they haven’t been sold by a year, which almost always happens.

It’s been a few years since the last time we’ve had goat meat, and I had forgotten how delicious and mildly flavored milk-fed goat tasted. If you’ve ever had goat meat that was tough and stringy and had a very strong flavor, that was an old goat. We tried eating an old goat several times, and it gave all of us terrible indigestion.

Nigerian dwarf goat kid meat

Few people eat Nigerian dwarf goat meat. Since they are so small, most people view ND wethers as pets. (But it’s worth noting that pygmies were originally raised as meat goats before they became a pet breed because of their small size.) It may not seem that ND goats would be worth the trouble to butcher because of their small size. However, like quail, some of the tastiest meats can come from small animals. Horny Dude had a hanging weight of 39 pounds, which was actually better than our spring lambs, so he was totally worth the effort and cost to take to the locker.

As we processed our last Jersey steer this fall, we also made the decision to stop raising our own beef. We have a friend who raises organic pastured Belted Galloway cattle, and I plan to purchase beef from him. But I’m not a really huge fan of beef, which is one reason I don’t want to continue dealing with cattle, which are quite large and more challenging to handle. In fact, I prefer milk-fed goat, so we’ll just keep a few wethers each year to use for our own goat meat. Unless we plan to continue milking a kid’s dam through the next year, we’ll butcher him in the fall while he’s still nursing because we prefer the taste of the meat when the kid is still consuming some milk.

Nigerian dwarf goat meatOne of the first recipes I pulled out after bringing home the meat from the locker was the Goat Goulash recipe that’s in my book, Raising Goats Naturally. The only problem with this recipe is that it’s easy for me to overeat as my taste buds scream, “More, more!” and my stomach is screaming, “Stop, you fool!” But that’s a small price to pay for a delicious homegrown meal.

Goat Goulash

Goat Goulash

Course Main Dish
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs. goat stew meat
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 lb. carrots sliced
  • 2 tbsp. unbleached flour
  • 1 cup goat milk
  • 1 cup water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of oil in a 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Add the stew meat and set on medium heat to brown.
  • Add garlic cloves, paprika, cayenne, and salt to the meat and stir.
  • After 5 minutes, add the onions and carrots to the pan, and continue stirring to prevent burning. Cook for 10 minutes and then remove the pan from the heat.
  • In a small skillet heat 2 tablespoons of oil, and whisk in 2 tablespoons flour to make a roux.
  • Add the goat milk and water, continuing to whisk while bringing it to a boil.
  • Pour the sauce into the meat and carrot mixture.
  • Cover and bake at 325°F for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
  • Serve over a brown rice or wild rice blend.

Notes

To make this recipe gluten-free, you can use rice flour or oat flour in place of unbleached when making the gravy.
The one hour bake time assumes you are using meat from a young goat. If you buy "goat stew meat" from a store, it will need to be cooked longer. Check it about every 20-30 minutes, and if you can't tear it apart with a fork, continue to cook it. Add water as necessary to keep it from drying out.

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9 thoughts on “Nigerian dwarf meat and Goat Goulash recipe”

  1. Thank you so much for this detailed information. I am just starting with ND goats and was hoping to find some recent discussion about their meat.

    Reply
    • I castrate them at 8 weeks, and then I let them continue nursing as long as they want. I never wean wethers. I think you meant 16 months, not weeks? You wouldn’t get much meat at 16 weeks.

      Reply
  2. This was a great article. Our very first Nigerian Dwarf birth was a single boy which we castrated also. And also over a year later I would catch him on his knees still snacking from his mom who was smaller than him. I tried to convince my family to butcher him but no one else was willing. I ended up practically giving him away at an animal swap. I told the kids he was probably eaten. They were just glad it wasn’t us eating him…I wish we had butchered him after reading this.

    Reply
  3. We put two wethers in the freezer this summer. So far we’ve only had the chops, which are phenomenal! Thanks for the recipe, look forward to trying it!

    Reply
  4. I have a nd doeling with a split teat and do not want to breed her and cannot sell her registered. I am considering using her for meat as I am at a loss with what else to do with her. how old are your nigerian dwarfs when you process them? She is 4 months now and not yet weaned.

    Reply
    • You can butcher her at any time. That will simply determine how much meat you get. If we butcher a 50 pound live goat, the hanging weight is going to be about 30 pounds, and if we cut all the meat off the bones, we will have about 15 pounds of meat. But I have heard of people butchering a newborn, which they cook like a rabbit.

      Reply

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