Monday, October 27, 2014

Goat Leg on the Grill - Spicy Yogurt Marinade

I have always loved traditional Middle Eastern foods, particularly grilled meats, and even more so since my trip to Israel and the West Bank a few years ago. I created this spicy yogurt marinade recipe especially for a whole goat leg that I had special ordered right before my trip. For several years running its a top 10 recipe on Lighthearted Locavore, a hit with friends and family.

Grilled Goat Leg (Photo by Lexi Van de Walle)
Yogurt is mildly acidic and, like vinegar- or lemon-based marinades, helps tenderize the meat. The spices add a lot of flavor to the rather mild taste of goat meat which in my view is considerably less gamey-tasting than leg of lamb.
Yogurt Marinade with Middle Eastern Spices (Photo by Lexi Van de Walle)
For the yogurt marinade, I mixed together a cup of local Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, the juice of a lemon and a teaspoon each of whole yellow mustard seed, and four ground spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, and coriander.
Removing the "Papery" Skin from the goat leg (Photo by Lexi Van de Walle)
Before covering the meat with the marinade I used a paring knife to remove the "papery" skin from the goat leg.This is a time consuming but very important step for a tender roast. 
Place the goat leg on a long platter and cover the whole leg with all of the yogurt marinade. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap for six hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Take the goat out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before cooking. 
Goat Leg on the Grill Over Indirect Heat (Photo by Lexi Van de Walle)
I used indirect heat on the gas Weber Grill on a relatively low setting (aim for about 300 degrees plus or minus) and covered the grill with the lead. Slow cooking at this low-moderate heat takes about an hour and a half for the goat to cook through. Test periodically with a meat thermometer and watch so the skin doesn't burn. When the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees (F), remove from the grill and let rest on a carving board, tented under aluminum foil, for 10-15 minutes.


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