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The thing I really love about Greek cuisine is that it is the epitome of simple and seasonal eating. You will rarely find a good cook that will make a Greek salad in the middle of winter when tomatoes aren't in season...simply because they are so expensive and are out of season! 

My parents and mother in law were all born on the mainland while my father in law was born on the island of Crete with is magical food and cuisine which is simply next level! I don't know what it is about the soil or about the quality of the produce but everything just tastes so good there. All of Greece has wonderful figs for example but the ones in Crete are just that much more tasty than those on the mainland.

There are even certain cheeses that are only found on the island, produced by allowing the goats to munch on the wild herbs that grow so plentifully around the mountains before they are milked and then that milk turned into cheese. One is called anthotyro and it is without a doubt my favourite cheese in the world.

As you can see I can go on and on about the produce itself before even starting to talk about the Cretans themselves. To say they are passionate foodies would be an understatement. Food is viewed as not just a means to an end but rather a tool for nurturing warmth and family. They also very much make the simple into something extraordinary...and that's where this dish comes in.

The first time I tried this slow cooked goat in Crete I was blown away by the depth of flavour in the dish and was astounded that it consisted of merely a handful of ingredients. I then cooked it up and served it at my son's birthday dinner where over a dozen of us were going for seconds and thirds and fourths, mopping up that glorious salsa with warm crunchy bread.

Don't be put off by buying and cooking goat - it is very lean, low in fat and best suited to slow cooking methods such as this. 

Reflective of the simplicity of Cretan cooking, I hope you give it a go.

As always, please tag me in your socials if you do make it so I can see your creations or feel free to leave a comment below !

H xx

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 1/2 - 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1.5kg goat pieces, with bone in  
  • 1 cup red wine   
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano  
  • Salt and pepper, to taste  
  • Juice of half a lemon  
  • Few small wedges of lemon (from the remaining half), to serve  
  • Plain white cooked rice, or crusty bread or rusks, (if desired) to serve

Instructions:

  1. Place the oil in a large heavy based wide pan that has a lid. Add the goat pieces and brown over a very low heat. It is important to note here that this stage could take up to 20-25 minutes.
  2. Add the red wine, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Partially cover with the lid and allow to slowly simmer for 2 ½ - 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is meltingly tender. Check the seasoning, adjust if necessary, and pour over the lemon juice. Simmer for a final 5 minutes.
  3. Take the meat out of the pan and pop on a separate plate (cover with foil to keep warm). Up the heat to high and cook the salsa for 5 minutes to reduce by about a third in volume. Add the meat to the salsa to warm up again.
  4. To plate up, if you like, scoop the rice into a teacup and then turn the cup onto a dinner plate. Plate the meat on the side of the rice and then pour the salsa into small individual jugs to place on the side. Add a small lemon wedge to each plate and serve. Alternatively, serve simply with the lemon wedges and bread or rusks on the side.



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