This month we found out a little more about one of our clients who have been specialising in Goat meat.
Maxine Tarry and her partner, Ian Garden are farmers in Aberdeenshire. Between them, they manage an arable, sheep, beef and goat enterprise, specialising in High Health Status Goats for both breeding and meat production.
They have a regular contract for their weaned goat kids and also supply finished carcasses to local butchers. Additionally goat breeding stock are sold from the farm.
The sheep and cattle are commercially farmed and they supplement their animal feed from their own arable crops.
Maxine and our Farms & Estates Account Executive, Jean Arnott-Glennie met on a fresh spring day, with clear blue skies overhead.
A:We started nine years ago with the traditional Boers and then diversified into full red Boers in 2013. Unsurprisingly, Boers originate from South Africa.
Q: You have breeding sheep as well as breeding goats – what do you see as the main differences?G
A: Goats are a more specialist market. You need more money to invest in the breeding stock and feed costs more than with sheep. Goats are friendlier to work with – they each have their own distinct personality. And sheep are more prone to dying!
Q: You went to South Africa last year to obtain your qualification in goat stock judging – what was the most interesting part of that experience?
A: It was all quite amazing, but the most exciting part of that trip was seeing the difference in the stock and the stock handling compared to here. The genetics that have been developed over the years due to the warmer climate were interesting to observe.
Q: What have you changed in your own farming practices on the back of this training?
A: Having been given the insight into what makes an excellent quality stock, we have a better understanding of the breed and what to look for; such as length, conformity and genetics. For show animals you are looking for horn shape, coat and hoof condition, a good rump and shape of head.
Q: And have you noticed an improvement as a result?
We are progressing into better genetics on the back of this deeper understanding. This will give us improved animal quality and increased carcass weight.
Q: How much demand is there for goat meat?
A: There is growing demand for it as it is very lean product. It is still quite a niche market, although is used fairly extensively in ethnic cooking.
Q: Is it good for you?
As with all lean meats it is good for you as it is high in protein and low in fat.
Q: What does it cost?
A: Prices are comparable to lamb.
Q: What dishes can be made with goat?
A: Curries, burgers, sausages are all popular or it can be enjoyed as a joint or a steak.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone looking to start in goat farming?
Make sure you have good housing and dry pasture – which is not easy in the current weather conditions! Don’t expect a quick return – like a lot of farming activities, it takes time to see a return on investment. Buy the best quality you can afford and with the best High Health Status available.
This aromatic goat meat and chicken stew is deliciously tender and sweet, yet spicy with all the right seasonings.
- Whole chicken
- 1kg goat meat
- 3 medium onions, sliced
- Fresh tomatoes
- Scotch bonnet/Habanero Pepper
- Tomato paste
- Seasoning cubes; Maggi/Knorr
- Crushed ginger and garlic
- Curry powder
- Vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Wash, clean and cut up the chicken and goat meat. Season and cook with half of the chopped onions, ginger, seasoning cubes, thyme and garlic. Cook with water up to the level of the goat meat and chicken contents of the pot. When the meat is fine, then add salt, allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a sieve to drain.
- Wash and blend the fresh tomatoes together with the scotch bonnet. Pour the blended into a pot and cook at high heat till almost all the water has dried. Add tomato paste/puree and cook together till the water have dried.
- Place a large pot on medium heat and heat up the vegetable oil. Add the sliced onions and the thick cooked tomato mixture (or the puree or fresh tomatoes if that’s only thing you are using). Stir very well.
- Add in seasonings and fry at very low heat and stir occasionally – allow to cook till the oil has completely separated from the tomato puree and the raw tomato taste is gone.
- Add the meat. Add the goat meat and chicken. Stir very well and add salt if necessary. Add whatever other ingredient and seasoning you think isn’t sufficient, and adjust to taste.
- Cover the pot and allow to cook on low heat for about 30 minutes. And it’s ready. Serve stew with your choice of side; boiled rice, yam, plantain. We highly recommend freshly cooked white rice. Enjoy!