There are a lot of restaurants in Spain with a horno de leña (wood-fired oven) at its heart. The fires are lit first thing in the morning and go well into the day. All day and night whole suckling pigs, half lambs and pieces of goat are cooked in giant terracotta trays. The steady heat cooks the meat evenly, slowly easing the meat off the bone, and the embers give the flesh a slightly smoky quality.
If you have a wood-fired oven this is the perfect excuse to light it up. A mate of mine cooks this in his camp oven, on his bush block down the Great Ocean Road. He puts a shovelful of embers on the heavy metal lid and leaves it cooking for hours. The slow cooking melts the flesh and the coals give it a gentle fragrance. You can use very lean lamb if you can’t find goat.
Marinate the goat by putting it into a bowl with the sherry, extra virgin olive oil, thyme, bay leaves, carrot and onion. Rub the crushed garlic into the goat pieces and put the remains of the garlic in the marinade. Baste the goat with the marinade several times, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the goat from the marinade and set aside. Pour the marinade into a roasting tin, making a bed with the vegetables. Lay the goat on top of the vegetables and season with the sea salt. Put in the oven and cook for 1 hour. Turn the meat over and
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve the meat and serve with a little of the cooking juices and some of the vegetables.
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