The newest offering at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers market comes to us from Jimenez Family Farm in the Santa Ynez Valley. It's fresh goat meat. And before its recent arrival, I had very little experience with this relatively uncommon lean protein. I was first introduced to it a few years ago on a trip through Jamaica, where a seemingly endless number of goats were found grazing along the roadside. A stop for lunch on day one made me instantly aware of the major role goat meat plays in the local cuisine, with items such as goat head soup and curried or jerk-seasoned goat dishes dominating menus. Over the course of my trip, I sampled a wide array of cuts, which made me appreciate the meat. While goat head soup has yet to be made at my house (although it was quite delicious), I have had the opportunity to experience many other dishes, from stews and roasts to grilled steaks and legs. For some, preparing goat can be a little tricky since it has very little fat content. If overcooked, it can be quite tough, so, if grilling, just give it a couple of minutes per side at high heat. To ensure tender meat, I recommend creating savory stews or roasts, or braising, where the meat has time to break down since it's slow cooked at lower temperatures. Adding spices and something acidic, like lemon juice or tomatoes, also tenderizes the meat.

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