By Ryan Saul
This past week I got a phone call from a good buddy who needed a hand at his farm. Being summer, I recruited my 11 year old son Johnny, and we went to help my friend work on his roof. Our payment: a young male goat named Angst, a guinea hen and three gallons of raw goat milk.
Whether I’m doing a Caught Not Bought Challenge or not, I hunt and fish for probably 95% of the meat that I eat, and as a father it’s very important to me that I pass these skills along to my own kids. All of my kids have been exposed to the entire process, from pulling the trigger to thanking the Lord for the meat that we are about to eat and everything in between.
My kids always want to be around when I’m cleaning fish or processing an animal. I believe that it’s a very healthy, and sadly often a very lost inquisitive spirit when it comes to where our food comes from. I love going out for a steak or a burger don’t get me wrong, but there is way more to where meat comes from than the room in the back where the guy with the funny hat works.
I strongly believe that it is our responsibility as stewards of this planet to understand and to be a part of the process. When you are so far removed from the death of the animal that is feeding you it’s really hard to appreciate the life that was given to put that food on your table. Being removed from the process creates apathy which creates entitlement.
I am thankful and take pride in being part of the process whenever possible and allowing my kids to be a part of the process, too. Taking the life of an animal is never easy. It’s also real life. Real life is hard.
Before we left my friend’s farm yesterday we needed to slaughter and butcher our goat. It was a young male named Angst who was a season out from going into rut. Johnny has watched me kill and clean many animals. He has been a part of the process since before he can remember.
Yesterday Johnny worked his butt off on the roof and Angst was Johnny’s goat. With a one shot of the .32 behind the ear Angst was immediately and humanely killed.
We bled him out and then strung him up to butcher. Johnny and I tag teamed the goat; he skinned it and quartered it while I messed with the guts.
We cleaned up, said our goodbyes and headed home.
On the way home we talked about what we wanted to do with the goat meat and settled on using a big portion of it to make a goat and wild mushroom stew. This morning I deboned both of the hams and re-hydrated some morels, gilled boletes and black trumpet mushrooms.
After heating up some butter in a big pot I added the stock from the mushrooms and some goat milk. I browned the stew meat in a skillet with some leftover red eye gravy from my fried squirrel from a couple days ago and then added that to the pot. We cut up a bunch of unripe bananas I found in a wood line and added them as a potato substitute. Lastly I added in the rehydrated mushrooms as well as some Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and a little brown sugar.
I wanted to keep an island/African style curry goat stew, but when I was getting garlic out of the fridge I saw some buttermilk and the south rose again in me. I added some buttermilk and made my stew into a stew/chowder hybrid. I let it simmer on low all day.
Needless to say I’m excited for dinner tonight and even more excited for leftovers tomorrow.