Roast goat leg or "Sikandri Raan", named after Alexander the Great is a popular dish for celebrations in Southeast Asia. Originally cooked at the great conquerors wedding feast as per this article in financialexpress this dish has become symbolic of family and fellowship. Early recipes were simple, with a marinade that incorporated some form of citrus juice, salt and pepper. This was followed by a few hours of spit roasting the meat over an open fire.
Modern recipes are a bit more elaborate, requiring at least 12 hours of marination and 4-6 hours of slow cooking. The essence of a good goat leg roast is that the meat should be tender enough to fall off the bone. Vinegar, papaya and yogurt are amongst the most popular tenderizers used towards this purpose. A centuries old cooking method called Dumpukht is the traditional way of cooking the goat meat. "Dum" means slow cooking and "Pukht" meaning cooking process.
In the past, this was achieved by cooking in a huge pot on a wood fired stove. Although the Raan is predominantly cooked in an oven today I still choose to cook mine on a stove. Whichever method you opt for, the essential technique Âthat must be adhered to is the same. The goat meat is first seared to seal in all the juices and then the cooking utensil is sealed with foil to create the steam needed for the slow cooking .
Growing up, a roasted leg of goat meant there was some type of celebration going on. Either it was Eid, our semi annual muslim celebration, a special family celebration, or company was coming. No matter what the purpose, I knew there was a treat to look forward to later that day.
The excitement starts when the meat is first marinated with a blend of aromatic spices. As the slow cooking starts the mouth watering smell permeates the entire house. The anticipation builds up throughout the day and dinner time is eagerly awaited.
If you've never eaten goat meat, you need to give it a try! However, If you feel squeamish about it, as I know some people do, then follow this recipe using a nice whole leg of lamb. This makes a beautiful centerpiece at the table and is a great recipe to try this Christmas!
CHOOSING YOUR MEAT
One of the Key steps to a good goat leg roast is your choice of cut. As I've mentioned in a few other recipes on my blog, for example my Nihari recipe, buying the right meat is the key element in a slow cooked recipe. Of course the better the cut of meat , the more expensive it is. However, since you're likely making this on a special occasion and spending a minimum of 18 hours on prepping and it I would suggest going for the best.
The younger and smaller in weight the animal, the more tender the meat.So when I'm at the butchers I try and aim for a whole leg of goat that is no more than 2-3 pounds.
PREPARING THE MARINADE
Marinating the meat properly to insure that it is adequately seasoned and tenderized is a vital part of cooking this recipe. You can see in the picture above that I've made a few slanted cuts in the leg. This allows the marinade to really seep in well and flavor the meat. When you apply the marinade, you must rub it well into these cuts so penetrates and seasons well. As mentioned above assorted tenderizers can be used in the marinade. For my recipe I chose to stick with a yogurt based tandoori masala blend I prepared.
This blend is a little different from the one that I use on my Tandoori Chicken, as goat meat is richer in taste and tougher in texture, thus requiring deeper flavors.
SEARING THE ROAST
Now that your meat is well marinated, you must sear it in very hot oil to seal in the juices. You need a good bit of oil for this to be done properly but can discard the excess amount later. I use about 2 cups of oil in order to have a thin layer on the entire bottom of my pot. Once the oil is well heated remove 1 Raan (I was cooking 2 here) at a time and place in the fat. Let it sizzle for a good 5-10 minutes and then flip carefully. After the second side is done remove the meat from the pot and repeat with the other goat leg. The pictures below illustrate what the meat should look like once seared.
SLOW COOKING THE MEAT
Once the meat is seared you can remove the excess oil and add the goat back to the pot. Fill the pot with the remaining marinade and water till halfway full. Seal tightly with foil and cover with a lid, cooking on high for about 10 minutes. At this point, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 hours before checking on the meat.
After the 3 hour mark insert a knife in the meat to gauge how well cooked it is. I usually need to cook mine for another hour at least but do so uncovered so as to dry some of the liquid. If you still have too much liquid, remove the meat as shown below. You want the meat to fall off the bone but not become mushy, so this allows you to dry the liquid and add the meat back later.
At this point I peel and cut some potatoes into quarters and cook them in this marinade. This gives them all that flavor from the yogurt and spices, making for a very flavorful side. Once the potatoes are done, I remove them from the pot and continue to thicken the liquid. I use the thick gravy as a drizzle on my meat and potatoes once I plate them to prevent the roast from getting dry.
ROAST GOAT LEG
- Food Processor
- Large Cooking Utensil
- 1 goat leg
- 1 tbsp ginger crushed
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ whole onion sliced
- 1 cups yogurt full fat
- 1 small can tomato paste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp green chillies Serrano
- 1 pieces mace
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 pieces star anise
- 3 pieces cardamom
- 1 tsp fennel
- 2 whole bay leaves
- ½ cup cilantro
- 1 cups cooking oil
- 6 cups water
- Slice and fry the onion till it's dark brown and remve from the oil.
- Temper the Mace, Cinnammon , Star Anise, Cardamom, Fennel and Bay Leaves and then grind.
- Add all of the ingredients except the oil and water to a food processor and blend well.
- Rub generously into the meat to get it into all the nooks and crannies and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the meat from the fridge for an hour before cooking so that it is at room temperature before you cook it.
- Sear the meat well on both sides and then add the remnaining marinade and water
- Cover tightly with foil and cook on medium heat for 3-4 hours till meat is tender.
Please read the sections above to insure a seamless cooking process as they explain each step in detail. I hope you decide to try this recipe for Roast Goat Leg. Please don't forget to rate it and let me know how it went !