This one pan slow roasted goat leg recipe with pomegranate glaze, served with baked potatoes is so good, that every year is featured in our top best Mediterranean recipes! You can also make it with lamb leg, there's no difference, except maybe from the cooking time.
Slow roasting the meat, makes it tender and succulent and your guests will surely be impressed! Also, roasting some potatoes in the same pan is a common practice in Greece, something that makes dinner simpler and fuss-free.
Roasted goat or lamb in the oven is widely favored in Greece, especially during Easter and Spring.
Many people refrain from eating meat during Lent (the 40 days period before Easter) and their diet includes recipes like this taramasalata dip, this Greek brown lentil soup and these Baked giant beans (Gigandes Plaki).
As you can understand, meat dishes are highly anticipated after this fasting period. This article about planning a Greek Easter meal from thespruceeats includes many other traditional Greek Easter dishes.
If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments!
For the pan:
- One goat leg with the bone. You can also use lamb leg.
- Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Dried oregano
- White wine
- Baby potatoes (or regular potatoes)
For the glaze:
- Pomegranate syrup (grape syrup, maple syrup or honey will also do)
- Ground coriander seeds
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Pomegranate arils for decoration (optional)
The most delicious variation of this recipe is probably the simplest one.
So, forget all of the extra ingredients and just use a good quality meat, potatoes, salt and pepper and some olive oil. Maybe also some oregano for the potatoes.
Salt and pepper are enough to make a dish you’ll remember for the rest of your life! BUT, (yeah… it seems there’s always a “but”!) the meat needs to be of really good quality, meaning young, grass-fed and free-range if possible!
I don’t usually eat lamb or goat because of this reason. If the meat is not good enough, it has a strong taste/smell I cannot get accustomed to. I strongly believe this has to do with the way the animals are raised and fed.
An animal that’s raised inside a stable, with no sun, with high levels of anxiety and low-quality food will taste a lot different from one that’s raised in the fields, under the sun, happy, eating grass and herbs.
In conclusion, the simple variation is perfect for an everyday dinner, but If you want something more festive, then try this recipe mostly because of the pomegranate syrup glaze.
Pomegranate syrup, also known as pomegranate molasses, is just pomegranate juice that has been cooked down and reduced to a thick syrup. It’s sweet and tangy at the same time and can be used not only in meat recipes but also in salads as part of the dressing.
You can make it yourself by boiling pomegranate juice, or you can buy it from the ethnic aisle in big supermarkets and online.
Goat vs Lamb meat
Taste-wise, goat meat is milder than lamb and that's why many people who don't like the lamb taste prefer to eat goat. Lamb meat is more intense and tastes kind of gamey.
Regarding the nutrition value, goat has more protein and less fat than lamb.
In many recipes, like this one, you can use goat instead of lamb and vice versa, but keep in mind that lamb may need some extra cooking time. Other than that, there shouldn't be any problems.
Internal temperature for cooked goat and lamb
You don't need an oven thermometer for this recipe and you don't have to worry about the internal temperature of the meat. The long roasting method cooks the meat perfectly and makes it fall-off-the-bone tender.
But if you just want to know, then for goat meat, according to the fsis.usda.gov the internal temperature should be about 160 °F (70 °C).
For lamb, the internal temperature should be about 145° F (62.8° C) .
How do you make goat meat tender?
First, you have to choose a young animal. Remember that the older the animal is, the more tough the meat will be.
Then, you should opt for a slow-roasting method which melts the collagen of the meat and turns it into gelatin, something that makes it tastier and much more tender. For this recipe, 356°F (180°C) may seem too high, but this is how it's done for many years in most Greek homes and it works.
What to serve with
This dish already contains a lot of protein from the meat and carbs from the potatoes. A nice, healthy salad would be ideal on the side. My favorite options are:
- Tabbouleh salad
- Greek cabbage salad (Lahanosalata)
- Easy cucumber salad or creamy cucumber salad
- Authentic Greek salad (Horiatiki)
- Shaved fennel, orange and ouzo salad
- Long baking time will make the meat tender, succulent, and fall-off-the-bone! Just remember that lamb needs a little more time to cook than goat because it is higher in fat.
- Search for good quality meat!
- Since you’re already using garlic, wrap some whole bulbs aluminum foil and bake them in the pan to get caramelized, roasted garlic. When done, open the foil, cut the bottom of the bulb and squeeze into a jar. Top with olive oil and store in the fridge or freezer. For a detailed recipe check this article for how to roast garlic in the oven.
Greek roasted goat (or lamb) leg recipe
For the meat:
- 3 pounds (1.3 Kg) goat leg with the bone (you can also use lamb)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic cut into little sticks
- 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ cups olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 pounds baby potatoes or potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
For the glaze:
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate syrup, or grape syrup, maple syrup or honey
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds, optional
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Pomegranate arils for decoration, optional
- Aluminum foil
- Preheat your oven to 356°F (180°C)
- Rub the meat with salt and pepper. Make small incisions throughout the meat and put inside one stick of garlic and some rosemary.Place the meat and the potatoes in a pan, add the wine and lemon juice, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano.
- Wrap well with foil and bake for 2 hours.
- Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl, and mix well. Remove foil and brush the meat with half of the glaze. Gently smash the potatoes if you want them with crunchy edges.Return to the oven and bake uncovered for at least 30 more minutes or until the surface of the meat is deep brown and you can see the tissue separating from the bone.
- When the meat is almost done, brush once more with the rest of the glaze and bake for additional 5 minutes (this is the time to throw in some pomegranate arils). Take out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- Cooking times may vary, depending on the type and age of the meat.
- If using lamp, increase baking time approximately 30 minutes.
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