Goat w/ Barney McBe's Texas Goat Sauce
For about 25 people:
- 2 goats -- 19 lbs each, head off, skin off
- banana leaves -- at least a dozen
- napa cabbage -- 4 heads, only if you don't have enough banana leaves
- fruit -- (apples, plums, onions) for stuffing ca 5 lbs, optional
- burlap -- 48" square for each goat, soaked in water
- chicken wire -- 25' x 48"
- rocks -- about 100 volcanic rocks, 6-10" in diameter
- one pit -- 5'8" x 3'6" deep x 2'6" wide
- one tarpaulin -- 8'x8', ideally canvas
- aluminum foil -- heavy duty, 12' x 4', or the equivalent
- one wire hanger
- firewood -- a hell of a lot
The goats were bought at San Pablo Poultry. They are frozen hanging, and are about 4' long. This makes it hard to carry them in a cooler, but they can be wrapped in a tarp with three bags of ice, then stuffed into a trashbag. In this way, they stayed cold for the whole drive to Hat Creek, and were still cold (not frozen) 35 hrs later when we were ready for them. They were neither dry-rubbed nor marinated.
The pit was dug with pick, shovel and sweat with labor contributed by everyone. The bottom was covered with a single layer of rocks. A fire was built on these rocks, starting at 10:00 pm Thursday night. A second fire was built out of the pit to heat additional rocks. Both fire were fed from 10:00 pm until 1:30 a.m. Friday, when they were allowed to burn down to embers.
The goats were stuffed with fruit (one with apples (cored and quartered) and onions, the other with pluots (pitted) and onions and plum sauce). They were then each wrapped in banana leaves (easier if you cut out the stiff spine), then in burlap, and finally in a piece of chickenwire 48" square. The edges were crimped shut.
The remaining chickenwire (ca 17' x 4') was creased down the long axis. Six feet in the middle of one half was covered in more banana leaves*, and the two wrapped goats were laid on this. The parcels were covered with a layer of cabbage leaves, then more banana leaves, then the long piece of chicken wire was folded over, and the long seam closed with clips made from the wire hanger. the middle six feet were wrapped in aluminum foil.
2:30 a.m. The embers were shoveled to the ends of the pit, laying bare the glowing rocks (embers nestled between them). The long chickenwire "taco" was laid on the rocks, with the ends protruding from the ends of the pit. Earth was heaped along each edge of taco, and hot stones and embers from the second fire were piled on top. Everything was then buried in a layer of earth, followed by the tarp, then more earth.
8:00p.m. Friday the top soil was removed, followed by the tarp and the second layer of soil, and the "taco" lifted out by the ends. The clips were cut away, and the parcels opened to reveal the goats perfectly cooked, still steaming and juicy. They were served on hot tortilla with grilled scallions and Scott's Goat Sauce.
Barney McBe's Texas Goat Sauce
Makes about 7 cups:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 1 32-ounce bottle ketchup
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 cups black coffee
- 1 cup distilled vinegar
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 6 tablespoons chili powder
- 3 good taps Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium-low in a large saucepan. Add onions and garlic and saute until tender but not brown. Whisk together ketchup and mustard in a large bowl and add to ingredients in saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Refrigerate unused sauce up to several weeks. While this sauce is meant for goat, it has an earthy flavor (probably from the coffee) that goes nicely with beef or mutton.