For the 3rd course, we moved on to a stronger tasting beer, the Ranger IPA made by the New Belgium Brewing Company from Colorado. The Ranger IPA can be a deceptive beer, the alcohol content is not significantly higher than normal beers, but it is one of those beers that’s a precursor to “What the F happened last night!” type of mornings if you are not careful.

Like any IPA, it’s hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so. It has a very clean taste and a light lingering bitter taste. This beer is the perfect fit for something game-y, like goat or lamb or quail or even duck. I slow roasted a shoulder of goat in whole milk for a few hours, then cooked a tomato based sauce around it. I paired it with Orecchiette pasta, which is italian for “little ear”,  because I thought the little scoops of pasta would be perfect to for packing in bits of sauce. I then topped it with some shaved Pecorino Romano made from sheep’s milk.

The bitterness from the beer does blend really well to tone down the creamyness of the sauce, while accentuating the game-y-ness of the baby goat.  There are lots of local Mexican grocery stores that sell whole goat shoulders and legs. For a party of 15- 16 people, one 2-3 lb goat shoulder was enough to feed everyone with leftovers if you portion it right.

The sauce and the goat meat needs to chill over night (or more) for the flavor to blend, so this dish should be started at least a day ahead of time

Milk Roasted Goat Ragu:

Ranger IPA from Beer Advocate: