British butchers are heralding the arrival of a new alternative for the roasting dish – goat meat.
Goat is the most popular meat on the planet but it has traditionally turned off consumers on these shores thanks to its reputation for toughness and its overpowering flavour. Now, Britain's goat farmers say demand for high-grade, home-reared meat is on the rise.
"In the past 10 years there's been a gradual build-up of interest," said Sharon Peacock, who rears Boer goats – a premium breed of meat goat – on her farm in Lancashire and supplies top chef Nigel Haworth's Northcote Manor restaurant. "Now there are 15 commercial farms and 150 breeders nationwide."
Ms Peacock said most of the goat on the market was of low quality and imported from Australia or New Zealand. However, growing awareness about the qualities of well-reared goat meant that she and fellow breeders were seeing demand grow from domestic consumers.
The meat is both cheaper – at between £8 and £10 a kilo – and leaner than lamb.
As for its taste, Ms Peacock reassured consumers that high-grade goat meat was neither chewy nor strong – just as good, if not better, than a joint of lamb.