This is a signature dish at Komi, where Johnny Monis slowly roasts the baby goat in milk until it's meltingly tender, then simmers it in tomato sauce before spooning it over fresh, eggy pappardelle noodles. The key to the dish is giving all of the elements enough time to come together: "We never serve our ragù the same day we make it," Monis says. "When the ragù is allowed to cool overnight, the flavor and texture completely change."
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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds baby goat shoulder on the bone (see Note)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 small cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups canned peeled Italian tomatoes, crushed
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Homemade Pappardelle Noodles (See Note)
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 300°. In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season the goat with salt and pepper and add it to the casserole. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 15 minutes. Spoon off the excess fat in the casserole.
Add the milk, thyme, bay leaf and cinnamon stick to the casserole and bring to a boil. Cover with foil and a lid and transfer to the oven. Braise for about 1 hour 40 minutes, turning the meat occasionally and spooning the cooking liquid over it from time to time. The meat is done when it's tender enough to pull off the bone.
Remove the meat from the casserole and let cool. Pour the pan juices into a heatproof glass measuring cup. There should be about a 1/2 cup. Discard the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Pull the meat from the bones and cut it into 1/2-inch pieces. Reserve the large bones.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the casserole along with the tomato paste and cook over moderate heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved pan juices. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Return the meat and bones to the casserole and simmer over very low heat until the sauce is thick and reduced to about 3 1/2 cups, about 1 hour; discard the bones. Refrigerate the goat ragù overnight.
The next day, rewarm the ragù in the casserole. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pappardelle and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain and add the pasta to the ragù; toss well. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls, passing the cheese on the side.
The baby goat ragù can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Look for goat shoulder (preferably from a baby goat) at halal meat markets or order it from your butcher.
The brilliance of this Greek-inspired dish is that the flavors blend into a complex, delicious wholeneither the goat nor the tomato nor the spices dominate. A great Xinomavro (a native Greek variety), would be a delicious match for this pappardelle.
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