With Memorial Day giving me an extra day to finish planting our garden and making the last preparations for summer, I also had time to fire up the smoker and try smoking not only a new cut of meat, but also a new beast altogether. On the last Monday in May, we ate a leg of beast – to be more specific, a leg of goat. Well, not all of it.
The first step, after acquiring a goat leg, was to season the leg. As I like to do, I started by applying a coat of cheap yellow mustard (hat tip to Gary Wiviott and Colleen Rush). Then I added Calabrian chili powder, garlic, pimento, marjoram, cinnamon, cloves. and star anise. I was thinking a little of birria and the flavors of the mole served with it.
Not having smoked a leg of beast other than making country hams, much less a leg of goat, I had no idea what the cook time would be. Knowing the structure of the hind leg in comparison to the front shoulder, I felt a higher temperature would work best as I did not have as much fat to use a buffer. I kept the smoker between 275 and 300 for most of the cook.
Once the goat hit 175 degrees internal temperature after about 5 hours, I wrapped it in foil for another hour, then pulled it from the bones. At these temps, the meat was pulled by hand and the bigger hunks cut with a cleaver. The crispy edges were spicy in two different ways – from the chili powder and the baking spices. The gaminess in goat, and there is some, pairs really well with the smoke from fruitwood.
I was really happy with the goat leg. Happy enough to branch out from the pork shoulder, brisket, sausage infinite loop I tend to get into when thinking BBQ. After trying the beef ribs and rolled pig head and loving both, I should have known.