Monday, June 12, 2017

Goat Head Soup

Some time back one of Anshu Pathak's workers at Exotic Meat Market gave me the head of a goat that they'd slaughtered at Anshu's farm. Judy went out of town last night so I thought it an opportune time to try goat head soup, something I don't think she would have appreciated. 
The head was already skinned, leaving very little preparation. 

Googling recipes for goat head soup I learned that the Rolling Stones had an album, "Goats Head Soup," that included one of their number one songs, "Angie." That album dominated the search results. The next search result with the most hits was Jamaican Mannish Water which is a goat head soup that also includes the feet, testicles and other parts of the goat. It is supposed to be a powerful aphrodisiac and what the Rolling Stones album was named after. The third topic in terms of hit results was for a Nigerian spicy goat head dish. Ultimately, I was able to find bits and pieces that were helpful in what I wanted to prepare, such as an article in The Prairie Star

The basic concept was to put the goat head in a pot of water and get it boiling, then lower it to a simmer for three hours. Remove the goat head, extract the meat from it, then put the meat back in the pot with various root vegetables for another 30 minutes. 

I initially planned to break open the skull with a mallet before cooking it. I hammered away for awhile and decided it was not going to work well (I think they used an ax or a saw in Morocco to split the sheep heads). However, I did create a hole in the head which later provided access to the brain that would have been more difficult without it.  
For root vegetables, I used 7 potatoes, 3 large yellow beets, 3 onions, half of a butternut squash, corn cut off two ears of white corn, and some carrots. I added beef bouillon, dried roasted garlic slices and granulated garlic. 
After simmering for three hours, the goat head separated quite easily. The jaws came apart with hardly a pull and I was able to pull the brain out through the hole I'd made with the mallet. 

The eyes were large and intact and pulled right out. I salted one and plopped it in my mouth. It was just as good as the lamb eye I ate in Morocco last year. It had a pleasant mouth feel and nice taste, but the mental challenge of eating it is substantial. Eating the eye of the lamb in Morocco last year helped the mental aspect a lot. This time it was not a problem. I saved one eye for the soup.
The tongue pulled right out of the skull. I cut the outer skin off the tongue with kitchen shears and the skin pulled right off. I sliced up the tongue and added it to the pile of meat I was creating. The brain came out in sections and I pulled it into smaller pieces and added to the meat pile, which by the time I finished was quite significant. 
The tongue and both eyes.
The tongue, after the skin has been removed, and one eye.
The pile of head meat ready for the soup. 
By the time I got the meat in the pot the root vegetables were soft, so I only left the meat in for about 10 minutes before dishing up a bowl of soup. 
Goat head soup.
The final result was quite good. The vegetables were soft and plentiful, I particularly liked the sweet corn that still had a pop to it. The meat separated into the soup quite well and had a decent texture and a nice taste, nothing off-putting about it. 

Eating sheeps head in Morocco last year really helped me with the mental aspects of eating head meat (brains and eyes particularly). The goat head really was not much of a problem for me mentally. 


  1. You're right. I don't think I would have adequately appreciated this "delicacy."

  2. Judy, I can't imagine why you would want to miss this! That photo of simmering goat head is just....yeah...