Shoulder Roast with Herbs and Black Olives

This is comfort food for when you have a couple hours to devote to roasting. The goat is seasoned at least 12 hours in advance to improve its flavor. It is cooked until well done to allow the connective tissue to soften and the fat to render, and then served with a pan sauce that includes vegetables, olives, and capers. Accompany the goat with polenta and a spoonful of the zesty sauce.

1 goat shoulder roast, 2-3 lbs

Kosher salt & ground pepperGoat Shoulder

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 small yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, sliced

5-6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped

2 or 3 fresh oregano sprigs

Extra virgin olive oil for coating

2 cups beef broth

½ cup dry red wine

10-12 kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Using a sharp knife, trim away all but a thin layer of fat from the goat. Rub the meat all over with the salt and pepper, place on a plate, and refrigerate uncovered for 12-24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator about 1 hour before roasting.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  3. Select a heavy ovenproof frying pan just large enough to hold the goat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, parsley sprigs, and oregano to the pan. Lightly brush or rub the goat with olive oil and place, fat side up, on the vegetables. Pour in the broth and wine.
  4. Roast the goat for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and turn the roast. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to roast the goat for 20 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and turn the roast again fat side up. Continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 180°F, 20 minutes longer.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the goat to a warmed platter, and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest while preparing the sauce.
  6. Pour the contents of the frying pan through a coarse sieve placed over a measuring cup. Using the back of a spoon, press on the contents of the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the contents of the sieve. Using a large spoon, remove as much fat from the surface of the pan juices as possible. You should have about 1½ cups of liquid. Pour into a small, wide saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, add olives, capers, tomato paste, vinegar, and chopped parsley. Reduce heat to low. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water and whisk into the simmering sauce. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm.
  7. Transfer the goat to a carving board. Cut the meat into slices ¾ – 1 inch thick and arrange on warmed plates. Spoon a little of the sauce over the meat. Pass the remaining sauce at the table.