There’s an excellent West Indian takeaway on Clapham High Street and they make a pretty mean curry goat. Tender morsels of delicious goat meat in a dark spicy sauce spiked with pieces of potato. Yum! I’ve been thinking about making this at home for ages but it took a while to track down a reliable source of goat meat. I happened to spot it in the window of Humphrey’s butchers in Bury St Edmunds so I snapped up a kilo to try out this recipe. Rookie error, but I forgot to ask for some bones to go with it so I’ll remember to do that next time! Goat is pretty good for you too apparently, lower in cholesterol than chicken and higher in iron than beef. It’s a dish with many variations on the recipe, as I couldn’t get all the ingredients for a truly authentic version e.g. the Wiri Wiri peppers (they are pretty hot with a citrusy note so I used normal chilli and some lemon zest), this is my version. It turned out pretty well judging by the groans of delight from my dinner guests. Traditionally, this is served with rice and peas – a classic Caribbean side dish of basmati or long-grain rice cooked with red kidney beans and creamed coconut. I served it with wilted spinach because it was quite enough with all the potatoes.
You will need…
- 1kg cubed goat meat (ask for some bones too – improves the flavour)
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- A handful of chopped celery tops – the leaves
- 1 large fresh red chilli, chopped and seeds removed
- 3 tablespoons of groundnut oil
- Grated zest of half a lemon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin seeds, roasted and ground
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of standard curry powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of Guyanese garam masala: 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds, 1 1/2 tsp each of whole cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and whole black peppercorns. 3/4 tsp each of whole brown mustard seeds, kalonji, whole cloves, allspice berries and ground turmeric.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup – I used Stoke’s.
- 4 to 6 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
- Approx 600ml of water
- Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- First of all, make the garam masala. Dry roast the spices in a heavy frying pan and grind them finely (I use an electric coffee grinder that I only use for grinding spices) and then add the ground turmeric. This quantity will make enough for at least two curries so store what you don’t use in a tightly lidded jar, away from light.
- Make a paste with the onion and garlic in a food processor with a little water.
- Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish on a medium setting.
- Add the goat meat and lightly brown. Add the onion paste and cook through for a few minutes. Pour in the salt and the spices – garam masala, cumin and curry powder. Add the chilli, ketchup, lemon zest and the potatoes.
- Pour in the water, enough to just cover the meat and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and then transfer to the oven.
- This needs a good three hours to cook through for the meat to be tender, the sauce thick and spicy, the potatoes soft.
- Taste the sauce about half an hour before the end of the cooking time and adjust it for seasoning – add a little more salt, black pepper or dried chilli flakes if it’s not spicy enough for you.
- The flavour improves if you make it a day ahead and then reheat it but don’t worry if you don’t have time to do that.
- Garnish with the chopped spring onion and celery leaf.
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