Since I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall’s curry goat episode on River Cottage, I’ve been obsessed with trying curry goat. Curry goat is curry goat. Do not call it goat curry. There’s a difference. I’m not sure what the difference is, but asking for goat curry at any Jamaican eatery is sure to have you ridiculed and branded as a floundering noob.
I tried a delicious Carribean curry goat over the summer at Splore Festival (pictured). The food stall was run by catering company Jamaican Me Hungry and the goat was divine (though it could have done with a little food styling).
I couldn’t wait another two years to try curry goat again so last week, I made curry goat at home.
Goat meat isn’t popular here in New Zealand. No, our prized beast here is lamb. But as tasty as lamb is, it can can be expensive and often reserved for special occasions. I have never cooked with goat meat and I can’t say I’ve eaten it many times, but I’ve enjoyed it every time. Growing up in my family didn’t harbour any love for goat meat – the Cantonese, consider goat (and even lamb to a degree) to be smelly and pungent. Goat is a cheap alternative to lamb and it is much leaner too so if you are the kind of cook who trims away excess fat on lamb, then goat is ideal.
I looked online for goat meat and found a halal butcher close to my parents house. I put in a request for Mum to by me a kilo of goat meat…which reminds me now, I owe her some cash for the meat she bought! Oops! Sorry Mum!…She ended up buying goat meat at good old Pak N Save, which surprised me. At $10 a kilo, the goat pieces are quite economical. They were chops, bone in, with no fat or grisle.
I couldn’t find Scotch Bonnet chillies so I used birdseye chillies which I believe are slightly milder than the Scotch Bonnet pepper.
I mixed 3 cups of white long grain rice with 1 cup of red rice. This resulted in a beautiful, slightly chewy rice. The red rice is quite similar in texture to brown rice which I’m not a fan of, but combining it up with white rice was a good.
I had fun toasting and then pounding the spice blend. It smells amazing. I can’t recommend enough the difference enough between fresh pounded spices and the pre-ground stuff. No contest. Don’t skip this step for a pre-ground spice blend.
I roughly followed Hugh’s recipe which can be found here. My version uses just a kilo of goat meat and feeds four people.
Adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall’s recipe
For the Jamaican curry blend
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorns
6 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 kilogram (2 pounds) goat meat (chops)
2 tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, bashed, then roughly chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 to 4 birdseye chillies deseeded and finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme, finely chopped
1 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon HP sauce (optional but very authentic)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon salt
- Dry roast the first 5 spices of the curry blend in a hot, dry frying pan. Remove from heat and pound in a mortar and pestle. Mix with the ground ginger and turmeric.
- Cut the goat pieces in half, quarters or thirds depending on size. You don’t want the pieces too small, aim for about 4 pieces per person. My pieces didn’t have any excessive fat, but if yours does, trim it off. You don’t want the curry goat to be too oily.
- Skin the tomatoes using a sharp knife by cutting a shallow cross across the bottom of the tomato. Pop the tomatoes into some boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and then plunge into cold or ice water. The tomato skin will then peel off easily. Roughly chop the tomato and put into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the garlic, onion, herbs and chillies to the mixing bowl. I used 2 chillies would I would recommend 2 chillies for a mild dish. Use more if you and your guests are more daring. Add 1 tablespoon of HP sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of the freshly ground spice blend and mix in the goat meat.
- Combine all the ingredients well until thoroughly mixed. Take your time with this Cover and refrigerate overnight or if you’re doing this on the same day, marinade for 6 hours or more.
- Three or more hours before you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 120°C/250°F.
- In a large, hot frying pan cook the meat (shaking off most of the onion and tomato marinade) in a little oil until it is nice and brown. Do this in about 3 batches , taking care not to overcrowd the pan or the meat will start to stew. Transfer the meat to a dutch oven or large casserole dish.
- Fry the leftover marinade until the onions are soft. Add to the dutch oven.
- Deglaze the pan with a cup of water and a teaspoon of salt. Add to the dutch oven and an extra water so that the meat is covered. Bring to the boil and then cook at 120°C/250°F in the oven for 3 hours, stirring once and checking for seasoning at the same time.
- Serve with rice and a sprinkling of chopped coriander leaves.
- Taste the sauce during the cooking process. Extra salt will really bring out the amazing flavours.
- Freeze extra portions for a delicious dinner or weekday lunch.
i love goat… either as curry goat or goat curry. (i also don’t know the diff)
it’s not popular here in the states, at all. and you would think it’d be cheap, but it’s not.
this looks wonderful. i bet it’s so comforting with the cooler temps you’re experiencing right now.
I wonder why goat is so cheap here but not in the US? Is it a choice there? Often when things are popular, even in minority consumers, the price goes up.
Rock and roll! I’ll give this a go this winter, for sure. I have a husband who adores curry and I’ve never cooked with goat but enjoy eating it. I’ll have to ensure I say it right though- no noobs here 😉
Rock and roll for sure! This keeps well too in case you have way more than you can eat in a sitting 🙂
Looks absolutely delicious! I don’t think that I have ever cooked with goat, so this would be a new recipe for me too.
That’s good to know about the difference between curry goat (correct) and goat curry (ridiculous)!
It may just be a matter of syntax. Just like asking for a “sandwich chicken” is strange.
Hmmmm. So if sandwich bread is intended for sandwiches, would that make sandwich chicken chicken meant just for sandwiches?
The English language is so weird!
You’re right! It didn’t occur to me to think about what it might mean. I forgot about such things like sandwich ham. Which is ham sliced into sandwich sized squares, ready for popping between two bits of bread.
I guess curry goat could mean goat meat that is destined for curry. Like stewing beef.
Or maybe the goat curry refers to the curry spices that go with the goat?
Things that are designed to fit a square of sandwich bread always make me pause. I wonder, what would happen if they suddenly changed the size and shape of the bread!?
I certainly do not wish to be called a noob, or even a boob, so curry goat it is. I think I’ve had goat once in Jamaican takeout, it was very tasty. As it is quite warm here in Toronto, I shall reserve this type of cooking until our chillier months. Have a great weekend, Genie. Hope my little bunny friend is doing well. Please give him a big hug and squeeze for me (did you notice that if you scratch his back, he will start licking?)
Yes, it is a bit cold here. I have been lapping up every shred of sunshine the sky can muster. Tofu is doing great! He licks a lot. Mostly when you stop patting, so I guess he figures that grooming is taken in turns.
we love goat curry, teh meat has so much flavour, luckily it’s quite easy to get hold of goat in west Auckland and cheap too!
It is great isn’t it? I’m tempted to cook a stew with some more goat meat. Flavourful, lower in fat and cheaper and lamb. What’s not to like?
Such an exotic and unique dish. Haven’t tried anything goat before, but this really looks delicious. By the way, I would like to invite you to Yumgoggle. Your phenomenal photos have caught our attention, we have been on the lookout for unique and interesting bloggers since we launched our food photo submission site which is http://www.yumgoggle.com/gallery/ This will allow you to showcase all your great work and share it with our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there! Sorry for the shameless plug to our site =)
Thanks for the feedback YumGoggle, I will have a look at your submission site sometime.
I have tried this recipe and and enjoyed the interesting flavour combinations. However, I have found pairing the right wine with it challenging.
It didn’t go well with a Spanish Garnacha and slightly over-powered an Australian Chardonnay.
Possibly a Shiraz or Gewurztraminer next time. Any thoughts?
Hi Martin and thank you for your feedback!
To be honest, I can’t really help you with the wine pairing. I don’t usually drink wine with spicy foods as I prefer beer such as an india pale ale.