2kg whole goat shoulder, cut like osso bucco (ask your butcher)
1 small head garlic (cloves separated, lightly ‘smashed’ with a mallet)
3 bay leaves
½ bunch thyme
½ bunch oregano
750ml (1 bottle) full bodied red wine 250ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed in the mortar and pestle
10 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
250ml red wine
500ml chicken stock
375ml tin crushed tomato
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
2 cups olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove
3 sprigs thyme
1 cup manzanilla or kalamata olives, deseeded and roughly broken up 50g piece of ricotta salata
Separate all the goat pieces and place in a suitable rectangular plastic container with a well fitting lid. Add all the ingredients, massage the goat pieces well so that they are all well coated and leave in the fridge overnight to marinate.
The next day strain the goat pieces and discard the marinating liquid, but keep all the other bits of garnish with the goat.
Preheat oven to 160°C on fan-forced. Spread all the goat pieces over a deep dish baking tray (a cast iron Le Creuset style dish is perfect). Equally spread the shallots, garlic, red wine, chicken stock and tomato amongst the goat and ensure it is well covered (if some parts are sticking out that is ok).
Liberally scatter the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan all over the goat, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a few knobs of butter. Cover with silicon paper and wrap tightly with foil and cook in an oven on 160°C for 4 hours. Check for doneness – the meat should be falling off the bone (if not done, return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.)
Remove from the oven when done. Season with salt and pepper, and add garnishes to dish.
Cut the peppers into “cheeks” by following the natural seams of the pepper, use an asparagus peeler to peel the skin off the peppers. Place the pepper cheeks in a shallow saucepan with the olive oil, bay leaf, garlic and thyme and put on a low heat on the stove. Bring to a simmer, cook gently for 10 minutes, we want the peppers to soften but not fall apart. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly in the oil, then gently lift out the peppers and season with salt.
Scatter the torn olives over the goat, and the peppers, then use a microplane to grate the ricotta over the top and serve! At Union Dining we also serve the goat with some radicchio leaves.
“This recipe is one of my favourites. An abbacchio is a classic Tuscan dish, usually with a whole baby lamb or goat. It is a braised dish with loads of big flavours and best served as a shared dish in the middle of the table for everyone to get stuck into. The recipe takes a couple of days but it is worth it! If you are not serving it immediately, allow goat to cool in the dish and store in fridge, the next day the flavours will be more developed, just remove any solidified extra fat before you reheat the goat in the same dish.”