Tender slow roasted rose veal with bright, crunchy Mediterranean salads, tzatziki, smoky barbecue and crunchy slaw
“Our starting point is always food that tastes really good, made using meat that’s underused in Britain,” says Nadia, co-owner of Gourmet Goat. “The ethical side of it is tremendous, and very important.” And when it comes to food ethics, there are few more sensitive subjects than the consumption of veal.
At Gourmet Goat, the (outdated, thanks to the welcomed introduction of strict welfare laws) ‘eating veal is unethical’ narrative of the eighties and nineties is being flipped on its head: “One of the issues now is that not enough people are eating British veal, so it’s being transported somewhere there’s a market for it, or the bull calves are simply slaughtered after birth as dairy farmers have no use for them,” says Nadia sadly. “Personally, I think that’s wrong.” It also means missing a culinary trick—for when veal is sourced responsibly, as everything at Gourmet Goat is, it’s a lean and delicately flavoursome meat.
“All of our rose veal is certified and comes from British dairy farms.” The name ‘rose’ comes from the healthy pink colour of the flesh—a reflection of a nutrient-rich diet. “The rose colour is additional confirmation of the welfare of the animal,” says Nadia. “The meat we use is bright, vibrant and delicious.”
It’s prepared at the stall each morning with as much careful consideration as it is sourced: slow roasted with aromatics, to bring out the natural sweetness of the meat. “We prepare the shoulder meat and marinate it in a baharat spice mix—it’s Nadia’s secret recipe, so I don’t know the exact blend!—with molasses, sea salt and kalamata olive oil,” explains stall manager Nancy, busily making up fresh salads and sauces ready for the hungry lunchtime crowd. “Initially it goes in the oven on full, which gives it a nice caramelisation. We then turn the heat down to slow cook for a few more hours. The slow roasting makes it really tender and tasty.”
It comes with homemade tzatziki and smoky, sticky barbecue sauce, wrapped up in a pillowy pita cycled in from social enterprise E5 Bakehouse in east London, or served in a box either with pilaf and slaw or with a choice of two or three salads. “I like to have it with all three,” says Nancy. “Some of the produce is from Grovers, who are wholesalers at the Market.
“We have spinach and beetroot with a pomegranate molasses and olive oil dressing, topped with lovely feta cheese, crunchy roasted chickpeas drizzled with our homemade tahini; fresh crisp kale with boiled chickpeas, nigella seeds, parsley, lemon juice and sultanas, again with tahini; and eastern Mediterranean slaw, with no mayonnaise but lots of lovely sumac and fresh lemon juice, parsley and dates, for that lovely sharp, sweet contrast,” she enthuses. “There’s lots going on. It’s fresh, crunchy—and topped with the slow roasted veal, I love it.”