The dish: Tasting of goat
The place: Ripple
The reason: The humble meat finally gets its due.
Goat is often treated as a cheap, tough protein to be braised or curried. Not so at Ripple (3417 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-244-7995), where chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley fell in love with the flavor of the meat—heartier than beef but less gamy than lamb—and now showcases rotating cuts of the animal on her tasting plate. At first she considered the entrée a passion dish—one that’s exciting for the kitchen but doesn’t necessarily sell with customers. Then the orders started flying.
• A whole 50-pound goat, newly slaughtered, is delivered every Thursday by Bounty Hill Farms in Pennsylvania. Meek-Bradley uses a Japanese Misono knife and cleaver to butcher the animal. She uses all parts—including the bones for an aromatic goat stock. Extra meat sometimes turns up in a ragu for pasta.
• Goat runs leaner—and tougher—than lamb, so Meek-Bradley marinates the meat in a mix of garlic, rosemary, allspice, and juniper. The rack then gets a tenderizing 60-minute turn in a sous-vide bath, which intensifies the grassy flavor, and is roasted in a pan.
• For the braised shank and neck, she took inspiration from her years working at Zaytinya. These cuts marinate overnight, then get a five-hour stint in the oven with goat stock, wine, and aromatics. Charred eggplant and roasted tomatoes add a Mediterranean flavor. (The accessories change seasonally.)
• The tasting can vary from night to night: The kitchen sometimes swaps in a goat loin for the rack. Happily, the smoked-goat andouille sausage stays the same—we loved the mix of ground meat with mace, cloves, and chilies.
This article appears in our October 2016 issue of Washingtonian.