Goat Butchery and Belgian Bier with Dave the Butcher

Updated Aug 25, 2009

We had a great time at the Butchery and Belgian Bier event over at La Trappe in San Francisco’s North Beach. Dinner was nothing short of surreal. The setting, you see, was the basement bar of La Trappe, a restaurant on the fringes of San Francisco’s Italian neighborhood, called North Beach. It was rather dark, except for a corner in which a butcher table was set up. A chain with grappling hooks occupied the corner ominously. It was like a party in a dungeon. As someone who enjoys medieval festivals in Italy, this is not necessarily a bad thing, atmospherically speaking.

We entered and after signing our tickets and putting them into one of those guppy-pond snifters we bellied up to the bar to choose one of way-too-many Belgian beers and load up a couple plates of oysters. The noise lever rose and soon a festive mood wafted over us.

Then they brought in the goat.

You know it’s not your usual party when the tippling throng must make way for Mike Azalini shouldering a naked goat, although it might have seemed less bizarre if we were actually ensconced in a medieval dungeon.

Among other acts of exhibitional butchery, we watched enthralled as Dave the Butcher AKA David Budworth levitated a shank bone:

dave the butcher, goat and beer

It didn’t really take all that long to “break down” a goat. Below Dave arranges all the expertly butchered tasty bits below:

A goat has been broken down

While this was all going on, we gorged on appetizers and beer. After Dave showed us how to get the goat cheeks out, we clapped and sat down and they brought the main courses. The best? Paparadelli with Goat Ragu. Dave simmered goat in milk with bay leaves and a touch of cinnamon for eight hours, then it was made into the ragu. It truly brought out the best of the grain-fed goat that Dave had butchered. It was paired quite successfully with Slaapmutske Nightcap, a beer I would buy just for the name, but believe me, it was excellent, and even better with the pasta.

Our next post will consider Dave’s mussings about butchery, society, and what goes into making a good goat. Stay tuned.

(Link to Dave the Butcher’s blog)

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