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Thread: Goat meat quality

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Goat meat quality

    Hi folks,

    I have not done a tremendous amount of goat hunting, and have some questions for you.

    I have noticed that the meat of a nanny is MUCH better eating than a billy, but what about younger billies compared to the old fellows? Also, have you noticed a difference in meat quality between early-season goats and animals taken in the later part of the season?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Shot an early season young billy a couple years ago out of Seward. Cooled immediately on glacier and transported home 24 hrs later. Excellent eating
    Shot a young billy late in year in Oct years ago, also cooled immediately on glacier, home in 24 hours. Terrible eating.
    BK

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Shot an early season young billy a couple years ago out of Seward. Cooled immediately on glacier and transported home 24 hrs later. Excellent eating
    Shot a young billy late in year in Oct years ago, also cooled immediately on glacier, home in 24 hours. Terrible eating.
    BK
    The October goat... did it have any odor to it? Rut happens in late October and on into November. Goats have a gland behind their horns that can get a bit ripe. Just wondering.

    Also the "terrible eating".. is that in reference to texture? Was it tougher than the other one?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  4. #4

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    Why don't you try asking down in the domestic animals, I know lots of people raise goats for meat in Alaska, and I'd imagine there might be a tip or two, That said, older billy's are known to have a 'goaty' taste

    Consider looking into the seasoning of Kabab and Gyro meat, and the use of Ginger go cut the flavor, there are a number of spices that are useful NOT to season food, but to remove or mask unpleasant flavors.

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    Member pacific-23's Avatar
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    Even the early season young billy I shot had an odor like someone had peed in the pan when cooking. The meat however was fantastic. The meat structure is different than a deer -goats have intramuscular fat, as well as longer larger grain structure. These lend to slow cooking (stews, chilli, pot roast etc) where venison would get dry the goat just gets tender and delicious. I have also had bigger early october billies that were great, and some that were pretty tough! In my opinion (echoed by quite a few of my friends) it makes the best burger in the world - just has a different game flavor and zing that is unmistakeable and good.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I have but the one goat so I defer to those with more experience BUT my goat was an 8 year old shot in mid-October. He was a bit musky but I was careful during the skinning and quartering and I had the great fortune of being in a snow field so I had acres of clean snow to lay everything out on. The meat cooled quickly and was packed in clean bags and at the processor's within 48 hours. Most of it went to pepperoni sticks and summer sausage but the burger and stew meat had no unpleasant odor when cooked. The meat of similarly treated goats killed by friends was also fine.

    I think we tend to get hung up on the word "goat" and the popular notion of goats in general as nasty, rutty, garbage eaters affects our perception of Oreamnos Americanus. These animals are actually antelope.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    My first Goat was a 9 YO billy taken ~ Sept 30th the back strap was almost too tough to eat, burgered it all only adding some little amount of olive oil, it tasted excellent. Second Goat was 7 YO Billy taken ~8th of October. Back strap and best of the hindquarters became excellent steak. The rest went to burger and again was excellent. So both tasted great, the first was just alittle tough.

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    Member pacific-23's Avatar
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    Slow cook it. I just got done eating left over goat roast (little guy, 3 year old) for lunch. Onions, red wine, salt pepper, porccinis, rosemary, thyme and carrots. Cooked until tender, and blended the gravy-excellent! Goat has a great flavor/texture.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow7D View Post
    Why don't you try asking down in the domestic animals, I know lots of people raise goats for meat in Alaska, and I'd imagine there might be a tip or two, That said, older billy's are known to have a 'goaty' taste

    Consider looking into the seasoning of Kabab and Gyro meat, and the use of Ginger go cut the flavor, there are a number of spices that are useful NOT to season food, but to remove or mask unpleasant flavors.
    A really late reply here, but someone reactivated the thread and I saw this... domestic goats are a completely different genus from Rocky Mountain goats; our wild goats are more closely related to antelope, therefore the meat quality issues are completely different.

    (just noticed that Eric mentioned the antelope thing... sorry for the duplication...)

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    The October goat... did it have any odor to it? Rut happens in late October and on into November. Goats have a gland behind their horns that can get a bit ripe. Just wondering.

    Also the "terrible eating".. is that in reference to texture? Was it tougher than the other one?

    -Mike
    Mike,
    The early season goat had little odor to it.
    The late season got had plenty of odor to it. The meat did not taste good, very musky. Texture was fine though.
    BK

  11. #11

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    I would also consider the circumstances that occurred when the animal was killed. Was it unaware of the hunter or pushed and fleeing before meeting his demise? I believe Adrenaline can affect texture/toughness of meat. Young and dumb are tender and the old and wise are tough seems to be the trend. Might it be that the old only get old by being more aware, tense and adrenaline stoked packages of muscle?

    That being said, I call on my personal 35+ years experience hunting Michigan White-Tailed Deer. Regardless of age I must say the un-alert deer were the more tender then those pushed and shot during deer drives or fleeing other hunters. Unfortunately I do not have an overwhelming amount of ‘old” deer to compare as Michigan rarely sees deer over 4 ˝ years, most are 1 ˝ at time of harvest. I have never killed, processed or served a “bad” piece of venison but I have certainly been fed some.

    Lastly, the hanging and aging process is intended to break down the muscle fibers and thus make it tender. It cannot replace lost moisture, eliminate the hormones or improve the taste.

    “From field to the table, make it your own”

  12. #12

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    I grew up eating a lot of cabrito (baby domestic goat typically cooked on a spit over an open fire), and it's about as good as it gets for any meat. Adult billy.... Break out the stew pot and open the windows. Nannies are fine, but usually tough without long cooking.

    Friend of ours shot an early season 8-year old billy and kept telling us the meat was great. A year later when he moved he was freezer cleaning and asked if we wanted the "leftover" goat. Sure, bring it by. Turned out to be close to 100# of the stuff. If that wasn't 99% of the original meat, I'm a monkey's uncle. Red flags went up. Thawed a 1-pound tube of the burger (he had it commercially butchered) and started it in a pan. Our dog literally started whining and wanted outside. I chucked the pan of meat and opened the windows. Three days later you could still smell it in the kitchen.

    I've had good goat and bad, but this was the worst. I don't know of any "sure" way to tell good from bad before pulling the trigger, but you'll know what you have right away when you grab the skinning knife.

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    6yo billy killed in early Sept and put on (more like "in") glacier (and left there for 12 days while we continued hunting...). Outstanding flavor. Not particularly smelly. Backstraps and tenders were only cuts that steaked out well - everything else was tough. Incredible sausage and ground meat. So far my wife's favorite game taste.

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    Member pacific-23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vek View Post
    6yo billy killed in early Sept and put on (more like "in") glacier (and left there for 12 days while we continued hunting...). Outstanding flavor. Not particularly smelly. Backstraps and tenders were only cuts that steaked out well - everything else was tough. Incredible sausage and ground meat. So far my wife's favorite game taste.
    I have found the taste to be excellent as well, never had one aged 12 days on glacier ice though... Tough is fixable!

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I killed a barren nanny up in Lake George a number of years ago. She was 14 years old and was one of the finest animals I have ever tasted. I was very surprised. That meat didn't last too long in the freezer, let me tell you!

    It's interesting to hear all the different experiences with goats and meat quality. Hard to figure.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Had some tenderloin off of a 7 year old billy last week on Kodiak. The billy had a little bit of adrenaline in his blood when he made his final resting place. The meat was under a tarp in 45-55 deg weather for 3 days before cooking. Spiced in the AM, cooked in the evening over BBQ briquettes to a medium well. The meat was a little bit tough, but not too tough cut into small cross grained pieces. The meat was very good, very little "gamey" flavor to it. It was devoured by all.

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    I shot an 8 year old billy on Aug 10th. The weather was fairly warm, but was able to get the meat iced down within about 10 hours time. The next day I grilled a piece of back strap. No odd smell and the flavor was rather mild. The only issue was the meat was a bit tough. Just enough that I ground the rest.

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Goat meat can be fairly tough, but there are ways around that. My hands down favorite way to cook goat steaks; is to make a chicken-fried steak type meal out of it. Tenderize/pound the goat steak until its super tender and then bread and fry up. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Friend of ours shot an early season 8-year old billy and kept telling us the meat was great. A year later when he moved he was freezer cleaning and asked if we wanted the "leftover" goat. Sure, bring it by. Turned out to be close to 100# of the stuff. If that wasn't 99% of the original meat, I'm a monkey's uncle. Red flags went up. Thawed a 1-pound tube of the burger (he had it commercially butchered) and started it in a pan. Our dog literally started whining and wanted outside. I chucked the pan of meat and opened the windows. Three days later you could still smell it in the kitchen.
    I finally got the "real" story behind that goat. The hunter that gave it to us talked about a clean one-shot kill. He's long since moved away, and a while back I ran into his hunting pardner on the kill. Turns out the guy wounded it with his 300 mag. Chased it all over the mountain. Wounded it again. Finished the deed approximately 3 hours after the first hit. Then it took them half a day to reach the goat for gutting. By then it was almost dark, so they let it lay in the hide overnight, waiting till morning for safety to climb back down to it. Call it midday before they got to it, evening before they had it boned out and headed for town. Sat in his truck overnight waiting for the meat processor to open the next day.

    I can't imagine a better formula for a freezer full of really bad goat!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I can't imagine a better formula for a freezer full of really bad goat!
    You got that right......YUCK....!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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