Curried Goat, Curry Goat or Goat Curry? I’ll let you decide! I’ve seen all these terms used in reference to broadly similar Jamaican-inspired recipes. Its Notting Hill Carnival this weekend, so I thought it was a good time to share my personal version which I’m sure could be criticised for being inauthentic, but is still very delicious.
Goat meat is relatively healthy when compared to other meats. It is remarkably lean, resulting in lower per gram calories, saturated fat and cholesterol than chicken. It also packs a strong nutritional punch with high levels of protein and iron.
I believe we should all be eating more goat meat. Consumption of goat dairy products (cheeses and milk) has increased in the UK, perhaps partly due to the supposed health benefits over cows’ milk. On many dairy goat farms, the Billies are unfortunately slaughtered at birth, as rearing them for meat is not considered economically viable. In my opinion, If we as consumers demanded more goat meat, then these practices would change. The Billies would enjoy a few months of a hopefully happy life, and UK farmers would see their revenue improved. This Guardian article explains more on the issue.
Independent butchers in the UK are starting to sell goat, so its well worth asking for it (even if its not on display on the counter). Here in Brighton and Hove, I have bought goat from the excellent South African butchers Henry’s Meat Market on Boundary Road, Portslade (His homemade Biltong is worth a trip alone). I have also bought meat from the Goats’ cheese company Nut Knowle Farm. The Sussex dairy sells their cheeses at markets all over the south-east of England, and they are regulars at Shoreham Farmers’ Market. Preferably buy your meat on the bone, as it will add more flavour to the gravy during the cooking process.
Other important elements to this curried goat recipe are the Jamaican curry powder and allspice berries. Both of these impart the quintessential West-Indian flavour to the curry. Both are relatively easy to find in large supermarkets, and in Brighton, Taj the Grocer sells a wide range of international foods.
Skill level: Easy
Equipment required: Large, stove-proof casserole dish with lid, pestle and mortar
Prep time: 5-6 hours (including time to marinate the meat)
Cooking time: 3-4 hours
For the Curried Goat
600 g diced goat
5 allspice berries
2 cloves garlic
1 scotch bonnet chilli
Ginger (15 g – large thumb-sized piece)
Course rock salt (half-teaspoon)
1 tablespoon West Indian curry powder
1/2 tablespoon West-Indian all-purpose seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Juice of three limes
400g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 lamb stock cube
1 bay leaf
oil for frying
4 fresh tomatoes, roughly diced
1 diced onion
For the Rice ‘n’ Peas
1 can of gungo peas
400ml coconut water
1 whole scotch bonnet
5 allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon salt
Step 1: In a pestle and mortar crush into a paste the garlic, ginger, salt, allspice berries, and a seeded scotch bonnet (the course rock salt will help with the pureeing process). As a top tip, when seeding your scotch bonnet, first cover your hands with a little oil. This will provide a barrier to the extreme heat of the chilli rubbing into your skin as you prepare it. When you wash your hands with soap afterwards, the heat in the oil is washed away too.
Step 2: Add the diced goat to a bowl, with the lime juice, all-purpose seasoning, curry powder, thyme and prepared paste. Mix well and massage the marinade into the meat. Cover with film, and place into a fridge to marinate for a minimum of 5 hours.
Step 4: Heat a little oil in the casserole over a medium heat, and add the meat with its marinade. As you gently fry the meat, a reasonable amount of liquid will be released. Keep turning the meat in the pan, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the meat is starting to catch on the bottom. At this point remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Step 5: Keeping the casserole on a medium heat, add the diced onion and a dash of cold water. De-glaze the bottom of the pan with the water and cook the onions until translucent.
Step 6: Add the diced tomatoes to the onions and cook for 10 minutes, helping the tomatoes to soften and break apart. After this, add back the browned meat, a bay leaf and approximately 500 ml of lamb stock (made from a stock cube is fine). Place a lid on the casserole, reduce the heat to low, and cook for approximately one hour. Check occasionally to ensure there is still sufficient liquid, adding water if necessary.
Step 7: After an hour, add the potatoes, re-cover and continue to cook for 30 minutes.
Step 8: For the Rice ‘n’ Peas, in a separate pan, gently heat the coconut water five more allspice berries (whole), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a whole scotch bonnet. Let these ingredients infuse in the coconut water for 15 minutes over a low heat.
Step 9: Turn up the heat under the coconut water, and add the rice. Once boiling, cover, reduce the heat, and leave to cook for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, the rice will have adsorbed the majority of the water, at this point add your drained gungo peas.
Step 10: Serve the curried goat accompanied with a few wedges of fresh lime, a bottle of hot sauce, some ice-cold Red Stripe lager, and a Lee “Scratch” Perry record playing!
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