Looking to expand your diet (or your palate) with different red meat options? Goat meat might just be a fit for you. If you have never tried goat before, you’re probably curious about its taste and nutritional value. Sometimes it can be helpful to try to compare new foods to a similar item that you have tasted so that you know what to expect.
Does goat meat taste like lamb?
Taste can vary from person to person, but generally, goat meat is much milder than lamb and can be more accurately compared to beef.
Let’s take a closer look at comparing goat meat and lamb with an eye on nutrition, flavor, and preparation.
All About Goat Meat
Goat Meat Nutritional Value
Goat meat, also simply known as goat, has a light marbling across its surface with deep bright red color. Goat is also referred to as mutton in some countries (which can cause people to confuse it with the meat of fully grown sheep – also called mutton).
Goat is high in lean proteins, and adding it to your diet will provide you with important amino acids that support growth, hormone function, and even cellular recovery.
Because goat is lean with very fine marbling (which also renders or cooks out), goat is low in fat, LDL cholesterol, and calories when compared to pork, lamb, beef, and chicken.
Keeping a lower fat, low cholesterol diet is important to maintaining heart health and preventing conditions like diabetes and arteriosclerosis (thick or hardened arteries that can cause heart attacks).
Goat also provides a proper natural balance between sodium and potassium. Goat meat is low in sodium (82 mg / 100 grams) and a good source of potassium (385 mg / 100 grams).
This combination can help promote healthy blood pressure in humans and reduce risk of hypertension.
Goat meat is also a great source of iron and vitamin B-12, which work together to support red blood cell health and prevent anemia.
Goat Meat Flavor Profile
While taste can be subjective, in general, goat meat has a gamey flavor but tends to be sweeter than its other game-meat counterparts. Goat has a stronger flavor and aroma than most meats, making it great for enriching soups and broths.
Goat meat can be soft and tender, especially from kid goats. The texture can be more tough when taken from adult, or chevon, cuts of goat.
Goat will retain its unique flavor when cooked and is often complimented with a variety of spices to enhance (or downplay) that flavor. Common spice pairings include oregano, cumin, curry powder, ginger, chilies, and garlic.
Comparing Goat Meat and Lamb
Goat Meat vs. Lamb: Flavor
Lamb, the meat from young sheep, is often described as having a flavor similar to beef with a hint of game.
Lamb is often raised or finished as grass-fed, so lamb tends to have a grassy or earthy taste as well.
Lamb has a higher fat content and more marbling than goat meat, and the meat itself is a light red color.
This gives lamb a stronger, fattier flavor and more firm texture compared with goat meat. Lamb is tender when cooked and has a higher water content than goat.
Goat Meat vs. Lamb: Nutrition
When comparing the nutritional value of goat and lamb, goat stands out as a healthier alternative. While both meats have gamey qualities when it comes to flavor, they stand apart on nutrition.
Both meats are high in protein, but goat meat’s leaner composition makes it a richer source of protein and iron. Goat is also lower in fat and cholesterol than lamb. Both lamb and goat are poor sources of fiber.
|Per 3 oz Serving||Lamb||Goat|
|Total Fat (g)||16 g||2.58 g|
|Protein (g)||22 g||23 g|
|Iron (mg)||1.4 mg||3.3 mg|
|Cholesterol (mg)||78.2 mg||63.3 mg|
Vitamins and Minerals
Lamb is a strong source of vitamins, while goat is higher in mineral nutrients.
Lamb is a source of vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, and D, all of which are missing from goat meat. However, both meats contain vitamin B12. Goat also includes high levels of vitamins B2 and E. Notably, lamb and goat both lack vitamins A and C as well as folic acid.
Goat is a strong source of iron, potassium, copper, and zinc while lamb has high levels of magnesium.
Health Effects in Humans
Goat is generally considered a healthier option than lamb since it has higher protein and lower fat and cholesterol.
Lamb is notable for high amounts of conjugated linoleic acid, which can lower the risks of diabetes and coronary heart disease. Both lamb and goat promote healthy thyroid function and are good alternatives for people with goiter and hyperthyroidism.
As with all red meat, goat and lamb should be eaten in moderation to prevent disease and dietary issues in humans. Red meats have been linked to increased risk of cancers, especially pancreatic and rectal cancer.
Cooking Goat Meat
Goat meat can be prepared in different ways, giving you a lot of options in the kitchen. Goat is available as steaks, chops, and ground meat. You can substitute goat in most recipes that call for lamb for a healthier option.
Goat can be grilled, baked, roasted, stewed, fried, minced, and even barbecued or pan fried. Goat is also a great base in burgers and sausages.
When working with raw meat, safety is always important. The USDA Food Safety and Inspections Services recommends cooking ground goat meat to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F.
For goat meat steaks or roasts, the minimum internal temperature should reach 160°F for food safety.
Goat meat has distinct flavor and health benefits when compared to lamb. Goat tends to have a gamey taste, low fat and cholesterol, and high protein. If you are looking for a healthy way to incorporate red meat in your diet, goat might be a great and tasty option to try!