Saturday, April 11, 2009

Goat learning

Image courtesy of KerryJ
It was the phrase “annual goat barbeque” that made me set aside any latent antipathy for Cafe in the House. In the past, thanks to a gristly chicken lunch of unusual awfulness, I’ve taken potshots at CitH and, despite Janet Jeffs glowing rep at the Ginger Room, avoided eating there.

The lure of BBQ goat, at a very reasonable $15 per person, called for a temporary ceasefire. Besides, even if the food wasn’t to my taste, it would be worth attending just to be able to drop the phrase “annual goat barbeque” into casual conversation i.e. “Sorry I didn’t get back to you, I’ve been flat out studying for my third masters and buying a new Audi!” - “Hmmm? Didn’t really notice Norberta - I was too busy attending the annual goat BBQ, don’t you know”.

To give Janet her due, she was front and centre at the barbie when we arrived at the OPH courtyard just after 12. There was the usual queuing for tickets, drinks, then food, and finally I was seated in a sunny spot, alone with my goat.

The meat was served in two ways; straight from the grill and with a tomato-laced sauce, both dishes offering up large pieces of tasty meat with generous chunks of fat attached. A couple of salads (quick check for obligatory pieces of uncooked capsicum, yep big tick) and a fresh bread roll made up the reinforcements.

SNAP... distracted by the raw capsicum, I managed to launch the head of my recyclable fork in a gentle arc over the table with my initial attempt to saw off said fat from meat. Disposable cutlery teamed with small, cornstarch plates and robust chunks of goat meat don’t work comfortably together.

With this in mind here a few hints to make your future annual goat barbies enjoyable:

First rule of Goat Barbeque
BYO steak knife.

Second rule of Goat Barbeque
A white hair in your food doesn’t mean your server is blonde (but your goat probably was).

Third rule of Goat Barbeque
Buy bottles not glasses. Choice of wine was between an appropriately local duo: Clonakilla sem sauv blanc and Collector Marked Tree shiraz. Bottles were $35 each, glasses $10 so the bottle mark-up was wearable but by the glass... ouch.

Forth rule of Goat Barbeque
Be punctual, by 1pm it was stumps as far as food was concerned.

Otherwise it was a simple, delicious introduction to a meat that deserves more attention if you're looking for an alternative to beef-lamb-chicken-pork. The Canberra annual goat barbeque is held during the first weekend in April by Ginger Catering.

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