Archive | February 2012

Reflecting on CSA Month One

First of all, I have to apologize for the lack of content recently.  Mrs. Esquire and I are expecting our first baby any day now.  My to-do list is eight miles long.  Not much time left for blogging!

However, we’ve still been eating some very tasty goat and burgers.  I just haven’t been very creative, so I haven’t felt like posting.  I’ve also been bad at taking the time for pictures and updates.  For instance, last night I made some very nice mushroom swiss burgers that were probably worthy of a post.  But I didn’t snap any pictures.

So the decreasing frequency of my posts is partly attributable to baby preparations, but it’s also due to the CSA.  All month I’ve had a ready supply of goat cuts that are perfect for quick and hot grilling.  With easy access to delicious meat, I haven’t had to be creative.  That is great for the busy stage of life I’m about to enter.  It not necessarily a good thing for blogging.

Wow, this is starting to sound like an obituary for BBQ, Esquire!  That’s not the case at all!  I hope to continue with lots of great grilling on the BGE and lots of interesting blog posts.  I’m sure the little guy will make an appearance in the blog along the way.  I have to come up with a blog identity for him.  Baby Esquire is just wrong.  I don’t want to suggest there are any expectations about his future profession.  Maybe I’ll go with Baby E.  Or just the Little Guy.

Back to the CSA.  I’m definitely re-upping for month number two.  Mrs. Esquire and I didn’t have any trouble finishing the meat.  The meat was absolutly delicious.  I’m already excited to see what the next box will bring.  Check back for details!

More Goat

Here are some more goat pictures from the week.  I really like the simple mustard preparation: salt and pepper both sides, Dijon mustard on one side.  Grill quick and hot on the Big Green Egg.

These guys were absolutely delicious.  After reading about the health benefits of goat, and enjoying a few tasty meals, I’m definitely happy my CSA has goat in the rotation!

Breakfast on the Griddle

Today I’m crossing over.  This is my first non-BGE post.

I don’t really bake or cook indoors – with one exception.  I’ve learned to love the griddle on our stove top.  It’s great for cooking breakfast.  I’m not BGE-obsessed with it, but I have had some good times with the griddle.

This morning I took a second run at breakfast sausage.  My meat CSA comes with five pounds of ground meat every month.  What better use for the ground meat than a little breakfast sausage?

Last weekend I used beef.  The core ingredient in my seasoning was a sample of chicken rub I had on hand.  The sausages were quite good.

This morning I wanted to put together a recipe I could repeat (i.e., that didn’t depend on a random rub).  I also wanted to mix in some pork.

I began by mixing together the following:

  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp rosemary

I added the spice rub to:

  • 2 tsp molasses
  • 2 pounds beef / pork

Since I wanted to experiment with the pork and beef, I kept a half pound of beef and a half pound of pork separate, and mixed together a half pound of each for combination sausage.

I’ve discovered that the secret to breakfast sausage is to make the patties really thin.  Otherwise they fatten up like hamburgers when they’re on the griddle.

If the patties are nice and thin, they only need 2-3 minutes per side.

After trying the beef, pork, and combo sausages, we decided we liked the pork sausages the best.  That’s probably a good thing, because I can think of many more uses for ground beef than ground pork.  Next time I might add a little more of a kick.

As long as I keep getting the meat CSA, these sausages will probably be in the weekend breakfast rotation!  Thanks for reading.

Great NPR Article about Goat!

Since it’s the Monty of Goat, I have to share this: Great NPR Article about Goat!

The Month of Goat

The internet is an amazing thing.  A couple of weeks ago I linked to Marin Sun Farms after visiting their butcher shop in Point Reyes Station.  They were kind enough to tweet my blog and post a link on their facebook.  This got me to checking out their website.  I stumbled across their meat CSA.  Intrigued, I explored the options, thought about it a bit, and viola!  I now have five pounds of top shelf local goat meat in my freezer.

For now I’m going month to month on the CSA.  If it works out for us I’ll pony up for the 12 month plan, at a nice little discount.  Our monthly package will have five pounds of ground meat and five pounds of top shelf cuts.  The meat will be a mix of beef, lamb / mutton, goat, pork, and veal.  This month I received three pounds of ground beef, two pounds of ground pork, and the aforementioned five pounds of goat steaks.

I’ll be honest – I was a little overwhelmed when I unpacked the five pounds of goat.  Woah.  I guess it’s the equivalent of joining a vegetable CSA in winter and opening a box of collard greens, romanesco, kale, and potatoes.  Now what am I going to do with this stuff?  Mrs. Esquire was similarly nonplussed.

But never fear.  After two meals this weekend, I can truly say that I like me some goat.

I was alone on Friday night, as Mrs. Esquire was out with the ladies.  I chose a bone-in leg steak.

I’m no meat expert, but this strikes me as some creative work by the butcher.  I’ve also seen cross-cut pork shoulder and pork leg steaks at the Marin Sun Farms butcher shop.  Why not?

After some quick research, I deduced that goat can be prepared like lamb.  I also learned that it benefits from a little marinade.  So I whipped together a very simple marinade I found online:

  • One part lemon juice
  • One part olive oil
  • Fresh oregano
  • Chopped garlic

Since the steak was fairly thin, I grilled it up hot and quick, a total of about six minutes at 500 degrees on the Big Green Egg (with the cast iron grill, of course).

(Yes, those are more Brussels sprouts on with the goat – Mrs. Esquire likes the leftovers for lunch.)  Here’s the final product:

My reaction?  Moist and tender, subtle and delicate flavor, a little bit like lamb but not as strong.  Really, it was very good.

I should have salted and peppered before the marinade, but a little salt and pepper on the back end worked just fine.  I also will use less lemon juice next time.  Maybe three parts olive oil and two parts lemon juice.  I have a few more of these guys in the freezer, so plenty of time to mix things up!

That was Friday night.  A good start.  Tonight I prepared boneless goat loin chops.  My review of the stash told me these were the prize cuts.

I found another seasoning method online for the chops.  Very simple: salt, cracked pepper, Dijon mustard.

These guys were thick.  I cooked them direct on the Big Green Egg, again on the cast iron grill.  They took almost 25 minutes at about 450 to get above 14o internal temperature.

Verdict = good stuff!  Mrs. Esquire even liked them!  In beef terms, my chop was like a ribeye trussed up like a filet.  Some portions were just as tender and moist as a filet.  But you had to work your way through the marbling.  For my taste, the Dijon preparation was a definite improvement over the garlic and olive oil.

So there you go.  Weekend number one of the Month of Goat.  Buckle up, we’re just getting started!