Goat In Hay

Out here in farmland, we’ve got plenty of hay to go around—and it imparts a distinctly grassy flavor to this roast. If you don’t have that same kind of access, you can find organic hay at a livestock supply store. Serve the goat with a side of Chunky Potatoes (get the recipe below) and an array of piquant condiments.
September 08, 2016


1. If necessary, find the tendon at the bottom of the leg (it is to the rear of the lowest joint), and sever it with a sharp knife (this helps the meat cook more evenly). Truss the leg at 2-inch intervals with kitchen string. Rub the leg all over with 1½ teaspoons salt and place in a roasting pan. Refrigerate the goat leg, uncovered, overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Soak the hay in warm water for 10 minutes. Line the bottom of a roasting pan with ⅓ of the hay, taking care to lay pieces of hay in the same direction. Place a second layer of hay crosswise, so that it drapes over the edges of the pan. Arrange the onions and garlic cloves in an even layer on the hay then place the goat leg over top. Bring the overhanging hay up and over the goat leg, tucking in the ends, then place the remaining hay over the goat, in the same direction as the bottom layer and tuck the hay down and around the goat leg; it should be completely covered in hay. Transfer to the oven and roast until the meat is very tender and falling apart, 4½ to 5 hours.

3. Preheat the grill, preferably with hardwood or hardwood charcoal. Transfer the goat to a cutting board and loosely cover with foil (or hay) to keep warm. Remove the roasted garlic cloves and onions from the hay. Peel the garlic cloves and set aside. Grill the onions until charred in places, then peel and coarsely chop them. Pull the goat off the bone in large chunks and transfer to a serving platter. Scatter the roasted garlic and grilled onions over the goat and serve.


About this recipe

Excerpted from Field & Feast: Sublime Food from a Brave New Farm by Dean Carlson, with Ian Knauer and Andrew Wood. Photographs by Guy Ambrosino. © Burgess Lea Press 2016, Quarto Publishing Group.

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After reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Dean Carlson had an epiphany and left his 15-year career on Wall Street to begin farming. He purchased 320-acre 18th-century Wyebrook Farm in Pen...


  • 1 (5- to 5 ½-pound) bone-in hind leg of goat
  • Fine sea salt
  • An armful of fresh, clean hay
  • 2½ pounds small onions, unpeeled and halved
  • 3 heads garlic, cloves separated
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