Sunday, August 28, 2011

Buying a Goat, Ethiopian Style

1. Go to goat market.
2. Browse herds of goats brought by rural people to the market. Feel how fat or sturdy each goat is before deciding by placing your hand on the back and patting the side and bottom. For good assistance, the guy in the red jacket will find you. He is a butcher which you will pay, but will also help you find the right size for the right price. Find goat. Negotiate. Buy.

3. Give goat to butcher. Butcher loops rope around goats neck as a leash and brings him several blocks.

4. Goat resists, knowing it has been separated from the herd, makes lots of noises, even sits down a few times, but butcher persists and drags him until he gets up and continues.
5. On the corner, goat lies down. Butcher places the four legs together then ties the legs together with a rope.
6. Butcher picks up goat by legs/rope, loads it on its back in front of his feet on a minibus (filled with people).
7. Head home with the butcher/goat.
8. In front of the apartment building there is a spot which is regularly used for the butcherings.

9. After getting situated, first, he cuts the neck. After about 10 seconds of movement, it is done.
10. Then, he ties the goat up on a rope so it is hanging in the air.
11. He begins to remove the skin and makes extremely quick work of it. He will keep the hide as a tip, which he can sell and it will be turned into leather. This is why sometimes around the city you will see a horse-drawn cart full of tens or hundreds of goat/sheep skins.


Just about there:

12. After removing the skin and cutting the head off, he butchers the rest of the goat. Removing the insides (stomach, liver, intestines, etc), then chopping into various pieces ribs, legs, backbone, etc.
There goes everything inside:

13. That’s about it, the whole goat is butchered in about 10-15 minutes. This guy is a real pro. Then cleans out the stomach, which smells like hell, and washes it with water.
Cleaning the inside parts:

He's cutting out the eyeballs and removing the skin from the head.

14. We bring the pan of goat parts upstairs and within 15 minutes Netsanet’s wife has some tibs prepared. Must be the soonest I've eaten something after it has been killed.

Making a dish with liver and kidney:
Preparing the head for a soup dish by removing the nose:

This way is much better. At least you see the process instead of just buying a steak in plastic wrap from the supermarket, which takes all the sensitivity away. It is good to know where your food comes from. And here, you know these goats have not been fed some crap to make them huge. They are living with rural people and when they are not at the goat market up for sale are probably foraging for grass and have space to move around, not living in a shoebox with 100 other goats.

Oh, and some people enjoy the head of the goat. Netsanet’s wife placed it in soup. The meat on the jaw is really tender. And, it was my first time eating brain. I’m not sure I am a fan of it, it is a soft texture. I compare it to eating crab, fishing the brain out of the skull with a fork instead of picking crab meat out of the legs. Regrettably, eating brain doesn’t actually increase your IQ.

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