I just found a small farm about 10 minutes away from where I live that sells goat meat at a fairly good price, it's grass-fed and they occasionally feed it hay. It's not talked about much compared to beef and lamb but I was wondering how it compares to them nutritionally. Is it good enough to make it a staple?
Definitely a great meat nutritionally, very similar to lamb. Low in omega-6, decent in omega-3, lots of great monosaturated fat. I would warn you that many westerners find the taste of the fat and meat somewhat gamey. I enjoy it, but I do spice it more than I would spice beef. It works well in Middle Eastern, Indian, and African dishes. It also has lots of braising cuts that need to be cooked for a long time and not so many "prime" steak-like cuts. For this reason it's often cheaper than other meats.
Hay= dried grass.
I get goat from a local farmer also. The term 'grass fed' may be a little bit of a misnomer. Goats tend to eat other vegetal matter rather than grass. As long as they are not filling up on corn or soy meal products, it's okay. My local farmer said he has a hard time controlling what they might eat in their adventures. He informed me that his mowed through his pomegranate trees.
I also concur on the more aggressive spicing. Cumin is a good one.
I would wager that the animals are older at slaughter, so it would have a strong taste like mutton rather than lamb. That being said, I ate a grass-fed yak steak the other day and aside from being the toughest piece of meat I have ever eaten, the taste wasn't off-putting in the least. Give it a try.
Are you considering (older) chevon/mutton or (younger) cabrito/kid? The tastes will change with the age of the goat, but like others have posted it is all good - nice in dishes like Indian (mutton) and Tex-Mex (cabrito). I don't know the nutritional differences, but ... yummm!
Throughout the Indian sub-continent, where due to religious reasons, Cow slaughter is a no no - Almost all red meat is Goat meat. Even today, fortunately, Goats are raised by letting them feed on the wild outgrowth, they are experts at grazing in hard to reach terrain and do a good job of mowing down to sand. Goat meat has a distinct taste not similar to beef and it also distinctly different from CAFO lamb meat. As others have posted, goat is nutritionally good and is used in several different cuisines.
Two of our biggest eating mistakes are mental: eating for comfort, and eating for the event; so many people whine about taste, appearance, or just the idea. "EWWWW!!!" Shut up. Focus on the nutritional value for the sake of health and sustenance, not the taste. I eat a combination of grass-fed ground beef, bison, lamb, and goat, seasoned lightly with multiple salts and peppers, onion and garlic powders, nearly raw (broiled 5-7 mins/side at 200 degrees); also wild boar and rabbit, again, nearly raw. I have no issues with taste, but then again, i have raw liver every morning, and my protein shakes look like a seven-course rerun. It's about the nutrition!