Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shanks Very Much

After our very enjoyable recent cooking class at Cavallo Point featuring Rossotti Ranch goat, I could hardly wait to try some additional goat dishes. Happily the Rossotti Ranch website features a number of recipes to explore.

One recipe in particular -- for Barbecued Goat Shanks -- caught my eye (see the recipe furthest below). As described there:

“Goat shanks are not for the dainty. Goat shanks are served whole, a leg on a plate – think cave cuisine! These shanks are permeated with North African spices; they radiate cinnamon, thyme, coriander and lemon – an exotic harmony.”
So last Sunday I stopped by the Rossotti Ranch stand at the San Rafael farmers marked and picked up a couple of shanks from Julie Rossotti.

After a bit of delay, they finally hit the grill this evening.

The preparation was very easy -- here is a shot of the ingredients:

I was particularly interested to see how the North African spice rub would work out since I had never tried anything like that before.

I used our Weber for the grilling - indirect heat as indicated in the recipe. A pleasant task sitting out on our deck with an Anchor Steam keeping an eye on the grill temperature and listening to the sounds of the bands playing down the hill at the Sausalito Art Fair.

The shanks turned out very well and I thought the North African seasoning was great. It was very well balanced and not at all overpowering.

Here are a series of shots showing the progression of the shanks through the evening -- Raw ►Rubbed ►Grilled ►Gnawed.

As indicated by the Rossotti Ranch comment above about “cave cuisine,” you would not want to consume this dish in polite company. For full enjoyment you definitely need to be in an environment where you can get both hands on the shank and have your way with it.

Apart from the seasoning, the goat meat itself was excellent - very mild flavor and extremely lean. There was also a surprising amount of meat on the shanks (and these were the smaller of the shanks they had available last Sunday). I am looking forward to having this dish again.


Here is the Rossotti Ranch recipe which I followed exactly, except for substituting fresh lemon zest for the dried lemon peel, and sea salt for kosher salt.


4 goat shanks
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste

For the Rub:

2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper


1. Heat the grill: Indirect heat, medium (325°-350°)

2. Rub the goat shanks with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the rub mixture.

3. Mix the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and tomato paste in a bowl; set aside.

4. Place the goat shanks on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill and cook until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a shank registers about 155°F, about 1 hour. Turn and baste with parsley sauce 3 or 4 times while cooking.

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