Slow Roasted Rack of Goat
A bone-in loin roast (rack) is always a good choice, especially for that special occasion or celebration, but there’s more ways to cook them than just roasting in the oven and trying to pin point a specific temperature. Today, we’re going to share with you, hands-down, the easiest way to roast a rack of lamb or goat. No thermometers, no tough outer rib meat, and most importantly, no chance of overcooking, just delicious meat falling off the bone. Sounds to good to be true, doesn’t it?
The secret of the recipe has to do with the differences between fast and slow cooking. When muscle fibers get heated, they tighten up and contract. Contraction and tightening is good to a point as it gives texture to the meat like how a steak tightens up, but too much and the meat will overcook and dry out. Slow cooking at low temperatures is more forgiving, and also has a tenderizing effect, slowly breaking down the meat until it falls off the bone. The only thing to consider is that slow cooking cuts of lamb or goat is just that–slow. Expect at least 2-4 hours for whatever cut you’re cooking to break down and get tender.
Just like with Chef Tham’s recipe for lamb cooked in parchment, lots of cuts are good cooked low and slow, but the rack, in particular, is delicious since it’s covered in a layer of fat that melts, basting the meat as it cooks. Roasted quickly, the meat covering the bones, if it hasn’t been frenched, will be much more chewy than the loin eye itself, since the loin eye and the ribs are two separate muscles, with different cooking times. This isn’t a bad thing, but cooking slow until the muscles break down eliminates any disparity in done-ness, and gives you a rack of lamb of goat or lamb that eats like pot roast with a rib attached, covered in deliciously crisp, rendered fat.
Seasonings can be imparted to the goat rack however you like, too, or left out. A simple rub could be nothing more than salt and pepper, or something with a little more kick like the coffee rub Chef Bergo outlines below. Use your imagination. We dare you to eat just a single chop!
This recipe is by chef Alan Bergo. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a veteran of the culinary industry, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Founder of the website Forager Chef, he’s best known as a respected authority on Midwestern foraging. Learn more about Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at Forager Chef.
Slow Roasted Rack of Goat Baked in Parchment
- Baking Parchment
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon finely ground coffee
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons finely ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
Trim and score the rack
- Using a paring knife, remove the half-moon shaped piece of cartilage from the shoulder, then score the fat just deep enough to penetrate it with a cross-hatch pattern to help fat render (see pictures above).
- Remove the connective tissue from the bottom of the rack (see pictures above-optional)
Rub and roast
- Season the rack all over with salt and fresh thyme if using. Mix the rub seasonings, then apply the coffee rub powder to the rack, turning the rack over in the powder to help it adhere.
- Put the rack bone-side down on the parchment, then sprinkle any remaining rub powder over the top. It should seem like an excessive amount of seasoning on top of the meat, but this will help make a delicious crust. Wrap the meat in parchment and refrigerate overnight (recommended) or cook.
- To cook the rack of goat, bake the packet in a pan (cast iron is great) to catch the fat for 4 hours at 250 degrees, then serve. (See below for tips on slicing/serving, as it will be delicate when it's done cooking)
Cooked like this, the lamb will fall apart a bit as you serve it. For perfect slices, chill the lamb after cooking, then cut into slices and gently reheat.
Making a pan sauce
To make a pan sauce from the dripping, scrape all of the drippings from the parchment into a small sauce pan, sprinkle over a tablespoon of flour and cook until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup of white wine, cook down by half, then add 1 cup of lamb stock. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, adjust the seasoning for salt, and serve.