goat rack; chili-roasted potatoes; cabbage, alliums, vinegar

It was winter, the temperature was going to go down into the single digits, and we still didn;t intend to turn on any of the apartment radiators. I took a small roast out of the freezer the night before, thinking we’d appreciate having the oven going Wednesday evening, but also fully aware that a rack of goat, some spicy crispy roast potatoes, and savory braised cabbage would be more than just protection from the cold.

  • one goat loin rack (21 ounces) from Lynn Haven in the Union Square Greenmarket, dry-marinated for about an hour, or a little more, outside the refrigerator [I had forgotten that the recipe suggested marinating for a few hours, mostly inside the refrigerator] in a mixture of rosemary leaves from Chelsea Whole Foods Market, removed from their stems; 2 medium crushed bay leaves from Westside Market; a bit of zest from an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market; a small part of one crushed dried dark habanada pepper; sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper, then dried with paper towels and coated lightly with olive oil, the oven preheated to 425º and a heavy oval enameled cast iron pan placed inside for 10 minutes, the goat arranged, flesh side down, inside the hot pan and roasted in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes (for rare to medium rare doneness), allowed to rest for 7 minutes or so, the ribs separated into 4 chops with a heavy knife and arranged on 2 plates, finished with a squeeze of the lemon from which the zest had been removed earlier, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, garnished with micro red mustard from Two guys from Woodbridge
  • twelve ounces of ‘red thumb’ small-medium potatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm (some of the potatoes were quite red inside as well as out; today I asked the farmers about it and was told it wasn’t a mixup of varieties, but a characteristic quirk of this one), halved lengthwise, tossed with a little olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, a pinch of smoked Scotch Bonnet pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, 6 medium-size rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm (unpeeled, to keep them from burning), roasted cut-side down inside a 400º oven on a large very well-seasoned Pampered Chef ceramic pan for less about 20 minutes [the potatoes were prepared and kept warm before the goat was placed in its pan and roasted] arranged on the plates and sprinkled with chopped parsley from Philipps Farms
  • an indeterminate number of chopped scallions (maybe 5 or 6), a mix of red-skinned Japanese from Norwich Meadows Farm and the more conventional from Philipps Farms, the green parts kept separate and put aside, cooked, along with 2 chopped Keith’s Farm rocambole garlic cloves, over medium-high heat inside a large antique high-sided copper pot until the garlic had begun to color, or about 3 minutes, the remaining portion of a head of Chinese cabbage (8 ounces) from Norwich Meadows Farm, thinly sliced, stirred into the pot along with salt and pepper to taste and sautéed for about a minute, a few tablespoons of fresh water added and the contents of the pot cooked, tightly covered, until the cabbage was wilted (only seconds, or maybe up to a minute), the reserved cut green scallion sections now added and cooked, uncovered, stirring until most of the water had evaporated, or about one minute [these times will vary with the type and amount of cabbage], finished by stirring on less than a tablespoon of Columela Rioja 30 Year Reserva sherry vinegar
  • the wine was a terrific Portuguese (Douro) red, Quinta do Infantado, Douro Tinto 2015, from Flatiron Wines (and a really wonderful pairing with this entrée)
  • the music was the 2015 ECM album, ‘Mieczysław Weinberg: Chamber Symphonies; Piano Quintet’, Gidon Kremer directing the Kremerata Baltica