Today was all about bumming around and keeping things easy at the house.  We had our friends Butter andWildFoodGirl coming over for dinner, so we didn’t want to skimp out too much, but we did want a nice one-pot-meal kind of thing. Enter goat… Goat is delicious, flat out, and it’s something that people in this country don’t tend to eat.  Oddly enough, it’s probably one of the animals that is most inline with what the current sensibilities are, lean without sacrificing flavor.  Goat is an animal I use a lot in all areas of cooking— soup bones, ragu and even in charcuterie as you can find over at Eat the Pig.  We get our goat from our friends Kim and George over at Leistikow Farms in Boulder, and I’ve had nothing but great red, rich meat from them.

Ragu is a classic Italian red sauce and everyone I know who makes it does theirs a little bit differently.  For instance, as you’ll see in mine, I prefer far more of a paste at the end of the process, and less of a loose sauce.  I think this is one of the factors that makes ragu distinctive, that final paste.  Others however, have grown up with ragu in a jar and insist on it being of the loose variety.  But the one common thread is that like all Italian cooking, it’s simple and just requires patience.  From start to finish, this dish will take about 4 – 5 hours, depending on how big your shanks are and amount you’re making.  I would err on the side of longer than shorter, just monitor the sauce in the oven to make sure the meat and sauce don’t dry out too much, but if you see it starting to get too dry, simply add in a bit more wine and/or water and let it go a bit longer.

In addition to the ragu, we served alongside it some charcuterie we got from Cured in Boulder, as well as some I had made myself.  The Coppa I made myself and you can read about that over at Eat the Pig, but the rest was Iberico Lomo (cured acorn-fed pork loin from Spain) as well as Olli Lardo on top of some freshly warmed bread that we also got from Cured.

Kate was on cocktails and whipped up a Cherry Rickey, which is simply gin, lime juice and Leopold Brothers cherry liqueur, topped with a bit of sparkling water.  As with anything good, it’s about the ingredients, andLeopold Brothers is always amazing.  This Michigan tart cherry liqueur is no exception.  The gin came from Rob’s Mountain Gin, Formula No. 11, which is a non-traditional gin in a couple of ways.  The first is that the proceeds of that gin go to Growing Gardens, which is a youth gardening project local to Boulder and a fantastic organization.  The second is that he’s using non-traditional botanicals, besides juniper, which make this gin much softer and more floral than your average gin.  This softness definitely makes for a fantastic gin and tonic, however, the cherry overpowered the gin, so we ended up moving to Dry Fly, which is much stronger in the juniper, and this proved to be the best gin for the cocktail.

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