Goat meat has a wild intense flavor and this intensity can be matched with equally strong and potent herbs like celery and parsley. World-renowned Chef Georges Wegner creates a gourmet masterpiece with a leg of kid (young or baby goat) served on a bed of celery compote and topped with gremolata sauce made with dried tomatoes. Presented on a large silver platter, this dish makes a unique and beautiful holiday feast.
Meat from young goat is similar to venison in flavor. Some people don’t like goat meat because they find it tough. The younger the goat, the more tender the meat is. Thirty to forty days of age is ideal but meat from an animal that is under one year is fine. Leg of kid is leaner than leg of lamb but has high moisture content. To retain and seal the moisture, the leg of kid in this recipe is seared in a very hot pan on all sides and cooked for twenty minutes. Only salt and pepper is used to season the meat while it is cooking. Later on, after the meat has cooked, it is covered with a generous layer of gremolata sauce.
Gremolata is an Italian garnish that traditionally consists of minced parsley, lemon zest, and garlic, and is typically served alongside osso buco. Some variations substitute parsley with cilantro or mint and orange zest in lieu of lemon. This gremolata version for accompanying goat meat adds dried tomatoes and thyme to the traditional recipe for a fuller and richer flavor.
The compote in this recipe uses celeriac, which is a variety of celery and is also known as turnip-rooted celery. It is a more delicate version of celery with a mild hint of parsley and turnips. The celeriac compote is as refreshing as salad and contrasts well with the musky taste of the leg of kid.
Cut a leg from the rump of kid, weighing at least a kilogram. Debone and season with salt and pepper. Tie it with a string and brown it gently in a hot skillet for 10 minutes. Add butter and continue cooking for 8 minutes. From time to time, sprinkle with water. Place the gigot on the grill and let it cook for 10 minutes.
To make the celeriac compote: Stew the onion with 2 teaspoons butter. Add the thinly sliced celeriac or turnip. Cook with the juniper and bay leaf. Moisten with half broth half water. Add dash of white wine to pick up acidity. Let it cook for 20 minutes and thicken it together with some shredded raw potatoes. Add another slice of butter to make it creamy.
Cook the small peeled and olive-shaped potatoes in boiling water. Flavor with just a pinch of salt. Coat the potatoes in melted butter after cooking.
To make the gremolata, dice all the ingredients: lemon zest blanched twice, garlic also blanched twice, dried tomato diced but not blanched, thyme and parsley. Brown butter in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients when butter has browned. Stir well. When it comes to a boil, add just a hint of lemon juice.
Arrange bed of celeriac compote in a serving platter. Cover the leg of kid with gremolata and place it gently on the celery compote. Surround the plate with the olive-sized potatoes. Serve.