The Teton Valley Fair livestock auction is the best, because our miserly business opens its purse strings to purchase some kind of animal from a 4-H kid. Last year we all enjoyed our freezers-full of lamb and this year our critter of choice was a goat, name unknown. When the boss brings in that cooler of hefty paper-wrapped cuts, carefully labeled, it’s like Christmas at the office.
I thawed a big leg cut and pondered what to do with it while I was at work. Ideas for pairings flitted through my head--watermelon and feta would turn the goat Greek, and roasted tomatillos and Cotija cheese would take it south of the border. But as I browsed my own shelves I realized that it would be most appropriate for this goat, born and raised in Teton Valley, to be served with its vegetal neighbors.
Big salads feel like summer, and summer was fast departing, but I still had plenty of produce from local farms. I decided to slow roast the leg in the oven with vegetables, big purple garlic cloves and thyme from Cosmic Apple and a few undersized onions scratched out of the gravelly dirt of my own backyard. I plated spicy greens from Alpenglow Farm and sliced brightly-colored tomatoes from Full Circle. In late August and early September, there’s a short window where you can actually buy good, valley-grown tomatoes at the farmers market.
Ironically, only the little purple and pink fingerling potatoes were sourced from elsewhere.
Arraying the goat and garlic on the greens, I remembered I had yet more local goods to adorn the plate. I toasted and buttered some ciabatta from 460 Bread and soft boiled eggs from the truly miraculous egg delivery service Free Birds, an offshoot of the Piquet family’s farming operation.
To be honest, I had overcooked the goat and the potatoes. Lean cuts don’t fare as well as fatty ones, lesson learned. I’m excited to use the sous vide method for the next round of goat flesh. But the salad was beautiful and it tasted like the last hurrah of summer.