Saturday, November 16, 2019

Caribbean Goat Curry

Many, many years ago I remember having goat curry at a tiny West Indian restaurant in Ottawa.  It was delicious- lots of flavourful, tender meat.  This first taste of goat stayed with me and I was really happy to include goat on my Caribbean dinner menu.

This recipe is adapted from one found on the NYTimes Cooking website.  If you can't find goat (try a West Indian or African grocer) you could use lamb.

To make 5-6 portions

4 lbs    goat meat (or lamb) cut into 2-inch chunks- you could use boneless but would recommend
            throwing those bones in the pot for added flavour
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp Jamaican curry powder  (worth the effort to go to West Indian grocer)
1 tbsp   kosher salt, more to taste
1  tsp    ground ginger
1  tsp    black pepper
1  large white onion, coarsely chopped
2           scallions, coarsely chopped
4           garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
½  inch fresh ginger, peeled if desired and coarsely chopped
4  whole allspice berries
2  thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
4  tbsp    extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
1 ½  cups diced potato
1  cup      diced carrots
1 to 2  small Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and chopped

 Cooked white rice or coconut rice, for serving (see note)
 Lime wedges, for serving
 Mango chutney or mango pickle, for serving
 Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

Pat the goat dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon curry powder, the salt, the ground ginger and the black pepper. Add spice mix to large bowl and toss with the goat meat.

Combine onion, scallion, garlic, fresh ginger, allspice, thyme leaves and 2 tablespoons oil in a blender; purée until smooth. Scrape mixture over goat and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons curry powder and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, brown the meat on all sides. Drizzle in additional oil, if needed, to prevent meat from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Transfer browned meat to a plate as it browns.

Once all the meat has been browned, return it to the pot, along with any juices on the plate. Add enough water to just cover meat. Bring liquid to a simmer, covered, then uncover the pot and cook gently for 90 minutes.

Stir potato, carrot and pepper into pot. Simmer until vegetables are fork tender and meat is cooked through, about 30 to 45 minutes longer.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat and vegetables to a bowl. Simmer cooking liquid until it has reduced and thickened to a saucy consistency (to taste), about 15 minutes. Taste sauce and add more salt if needed. Pour sauce over meat. Serve over rice, topped with a squeeze of lime, a dollop of mango chutney or pickle and fresh cilantro.

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