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So I have about ten pounds of ground goat, ten pounds of goat sausage, and 2 racks of goat ribs. This is an ongoing supply, my folks keep meat goats so goat is cheap and plentiful.

The meat isn't particularly gamy, but it does have a bit of a gamy flavor. Right now I want to take some goat meat and make a cottage pie (potatoes over meat over crust). I have two questions:

1- I love pie crust, but my cottage pie never really holds together in a pie slice. What can I do to give it more consistency?

2- What can I do to minimize the gamy flavor of the goat?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Goat is pretty mild, as gamey meats go, so it is possible that you just aren't fond of goat? I know people who love lamb and so I turn them on to goat, which is milder, but if you eliminate what many would call gaminess, you have effectively blanded out your goat completely.

One technique that can work with your ground goat is to brown the meat, then rinse it with water, in a colander, to remove excess grease. Much of the gaminess is in the fat.

The main trick is just to work with recipes that are designed for that taste. Goat is great in curry, for instance. The shepherd's pie that you describe is also good for goat because the blandness of the potatoes offsets the stronger taste of the goat. You wouldn't want to make a traditional shepherd's pie, for instance, with chicken breast, or pork loin. Not enough flavor.

To get your meat filling to hold together better, when you brown the meat, add a couple of tablespoons of flour and cook it in with the fat. You are basically making a roux in place which will then thicken as your pie bakes, holding the moisture rather than letting it run away. If you do the rinsing idea I mentioned above, then you would do this step after rinsing, although you might need to add a little oil to the mix.

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The traditional way of reducing strong flavours in meat is to soak it overnight, or even longer, in milk or buttermilk. I know I have read somewhere that brine is supposed to work equally well in reducing "gamey" flavours. If I were the proud owner of all that goat meat, I would try using a brine with some extra bay leaves and juniper. However, as I am writing this it is dawning upon me that you said your meat was already ground. I suppose you could still brine it, but you should probably reduce the time to a few hours. Also, I think brining it will give you problems if you were planning on browning the meat later. It will probably be too saturated with liquid to brown properly. I guess this is not much of an answer to your question, but perhaps it will give you some ideas.

As for the cottage pie, which part of the pie is the problem? If it is the mashed potatoes you could try putting a couple of egg yolks in them, that should firm them up a little and also help give them a nice colour when they brown. If it is the meat stew that is too runny, just cook it down a bit longer, until it is quite dry.

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Usually the meat ends up a bit too loose... I'd like it to hold together more like a french meat pie. –  philosodad Jan 5 '11 at 22:48

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