Bodacious Goatherd’s Pie – A New Take on Shepherd’s Pie

Yes it is summer and yes it is not exactly hot weather food.  But I wanted to make a shepherd’s pie and wanted to spin it differently.  Use goat instead of lamb.

Goat is a very healthy alternative to other red meat.  A 3-ounce serving of cooked ground goat meat contains about 120 calories, of which 75 percent comes from protein and the remaining 25 percent coming from fat, far less than beef or pork.  I bought my ground goat from a local farmer’s market.  The vendor raises the goat in Oregon and brings the meat down to the market.

This is the best ground goat I’ve had.  My friends who are not lovers of goat meat are skeptical of the taste.  They love it too.  Not gamey, just beautiful tasting meat.  Very little fat was rendered when I was cooking it up.  Very lean ground goat!

This recipe is an adaptation of a shepherd’s pie recipe that I got from my friend Nuala, an Irish gal who knows about Shepherd’s Pie.  I think the version made with goat is a very tasty alternative to the more traditional shepherd’s pie.  I hope you think so too!

Goatherd's Pie
Goatherd’s Pie – Bodacious Style


  • 1 1/2 lb. ground goat
  • 1 1/2c sliced mushrooms
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2c beef stock
  • 1 tbl worchestshire sauce
  • salt/black pepper
  • 4-6 large potatoes (yukon gold)
  • 1/4 cup hot milk
  • 2 tbl butter


  1. In a large pan (I use a copper Mauveil pan) render fat from goat – drain off fat
  2. Remove goat from pan and add 1 tbl of fat back into the pan
  3. Add vegetables to fat
  4. Cook until soft
  5. Return goat, add flour and cook stirring for a minute
  6. Add stock, worchestshire sauce, salt pepper, bring to a boil
  7. Turn down the heat, simmer covered for 30 minutes
  8. While simmering make the mashed potatoes (with the quantity of potatoes, milk and butter listed above).  I like to put my potatoes through a potato ricer as I find I get a nice texture.
  9. Cool goat mixture before assembling
  10. Put goat mixture in individual serving dishes, top with mashed potatoes.  Or you may put in a larger baking dish, cooking time goes up a bit.
  11. Bake for at 400 degrees for 30 minutes

Remove from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

This recipe is easily doubled and freezes very well.

Little Chef Counter – Bodaciously Delicious

I love Little Chef Counter. It’s wonderful.

Little Chef Counter is a micro-bistro in San Jose, which specializes in Californian-French cuisine. They place an emphasis on seasonal and fresh ingredients. As the name says, it’s little, really little. Only 5 seats at the counter, 6 for their dinner series events.

These events are held every 1-2 months. Diners pay a fixed price for a multi course dinner. It’s simply wonderful to sit at the counter that to the chefs as they prepare the feast. The food is bought at the San Jose Farmer’s Market on Friday so it is fresh.

These guys are creative, fun and the dinner is not to be missed. I went to my first one on May 26, 2013. Wow it was a feast, I couldn’t move afterwards. Ultra fun night. The photos are below. Enjoy the feast for your eyes. I know it was a feast for my eyes and stomach. Can’t wait to go to the next one on July 28, 2103. Salut!

Menu_opt (2)

Caprese - Kumquat Marmalade with goat cheese toast point, Duxelles with Arugula puree, bacon
Caprese – Kumquat Marmalade with goat cheese toast point, Duxelles with Arugula puree, bacon
Asparagus amuse with beet relish
Asparagus amuse with beet relish
Potato gnocchi ravioli
Potato Gnocchi Ravioli = Ricotta cheese, braised kale, egg yolk and Parmesan broth
Warm Spinach Salad
Warm Spinach Salad. Bloomsdale spinach, pickled onions, cherry tomato & bacon vinaigrette
Pan-roasted Local Halibut - spring vegetable succotash, artichoke puree, grapefruit vinaigrette
Pan-roasted Local Halibut – spring vegetable succotash, artichoke puree, grapefruit vinaigrette
Tomato sauce braised Mary's Spring Game Hen - Fingerling potatoes, basil, balsamic gastrique
Tomato sauce braised Mary’s Spring Game Hen – Fingerling potatoes, basil, balsamic gastrique
Melon sorbet, mint, black pepper flakes
Melon sorbet, mint, black pepper flakes

Halibut and Heirlooms – Bodacious Summer Food

It’s been a beautiful summer so far. Perfect weather in sunny CA.

I had a fantastic week. Two dinners with two dear friends both who sent me home with fruits of their labor: heirloom tomatoes grown with care by my friend Dan and CA halibut caught by line by my friend Jon. Yes, CA halibut caught by line. Dan is the master of the tomato garden, I can honestly say I have not had better tomatoes than his. Jon is the master of the sea. Who catches halibut by line, this was a big one, 15 pounds.

I wanted to eat both the tomatoes and the halibut quickly to take advantage of the freshness of both. So why not combine them together and top the dish with lovely fresh made pesto (I used basil, thai basil and almonds (instead of pine nuts) and garlic.

My friend Robert suggested adding some ascorbic acid (grind a Vitamin C tablet with a mortar and pestle) to the pesto to prevent oxidation and help to keep it green, even after sitting a while. He said to make sure it is pure Vitamin C (e.g., no rose hips or other vitamins) and use about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. Briefly blanching and icing the basil will also help keep it really green.

It’s great to have foodie friends! Thanks guys!!!

Halibut and Heirloom
Halibut and Heirloom

I prepared the dish very simply, poached the halibut in water, with some white wine added, fresh parsley, thyme, cilantro and garlic. It poached for about 8 minutes. I removed the fish from the poaching liquid, patted it dry and then laid it down on the diced tomatoes and topped the dish with freshly made pesto.

Delicious, perfect for a summer dinner. So fresh and tasty.

The pesto didn’t overwhelm the fish but complimented the fish and tomatoes perfectly.


It’s a Thing of Beauty – Hand Thrown Fermentation Crock

I’ve been on a health kick lately and learning more about the paleo diet and fermentation.  I know not exactly in the same vein.  But I like to learn about lots of stuff.

I was doing what I always do on Saturday mornings, learning more about food and all things food related.  This Saturday morning was no different except I was flipping through a book instead of starting on my computer.  I recently ordered a new book from Amazon:  The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the World by Sandor Ellix Katz and Michael Pollan

This book is the bible of fermentation.  A lot of information and I am hooked on learning more about fermentation.  But where to start.   In the middle of the book are beautiful photos and I hit one that caught my eye.  It was a photo of a fermentation crock made by a local potter in Berkeley, Sarah Kersten of Counter Culture Pottery.  These crocks are stunning!

Counter Culture Pottery
Counter Culture Pottery Fermentation Crock (photo Counter Culture Pottery)

This one is a Handcrafted Water-Seal Vegetable Fermentation Crock crafted for regular home use.  It is handmade on the wheel by Sarah who makes homemade fermented foods herself.   This crock has an unusual lid design that has its origins in ancient China.  You can read more about Sarah’s crocks on her website at Counter Culture Pottery.

I saw on her site that she just put 5 new crocks on her Etsy store so I wandered over to Etsy to check it out.  Only one left so I moved fast as it was the last one left at least for now.

Counter Culture Pottery Fermentation Crock
My New Fermentation Crock

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I am thrilled my new crock will arrive this week and I can now start exploring fermentation and the wonderful world of kim chi and sauerkraut and making these very healthy products in my lovely Counter Culture Pottery crock.

Fermentation Crock
It’s a thing of beauty