By Chef Chris De La Rosa
This recipe is influenced by the various “bush cooks”, I’d enjoy with my childhood friends in the Caribbean islands.
Typically, it would be something very simple, like dahseen bush bhagi — simmered in freshly made coconut milk — and cassava, from my dad’s garden, and flour dumplings. We never had the money to buy fish, chicken, goat etc.; we were kids!
This time, I’ll be using a traditional coal pot — back then it was three stones, a pot and a bamboo fire — like my ancestors used to cook their meals. Watch the video below for more details.
3-4 lbs goat (with bones)
1 medium onion (diced)
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 large tomato (diced)
2 scallions (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 scotch bonnet peppers (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2-3 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 allspice berries
6-8 cups water
2 teaspoons chopped shado beni plus 5 birds’ eye pepper
Note: Coriander seeds, when cooked, gives a sort of bitter lemon flavor that’s not liked by all, so you can omit it. Remember to use as much Scotch Pepper as you can handle, and to wash your hands, with soap and water, immediately after handling them.
Additionally, if doing this recipe gluten-free, be sure to go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten-free dietary needs — especially the curry powder you use, as some may contain flour, as a filler.
I used the juice of a lemon, along with cool water, to wash the goat meat – drain it well. Traditionally, I’ve seen people use flour, instead of the lemon juice to wash their goat meat, saying that the acid from the lemon or lime will tighten the meat and make it tougher.
If using meat with bones (best flavor IMHO) be sure to get your butcher to cut it into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces for you, because your kitchen knife may struggle to go through the bones. Then season with the Caribbean Green Seasoning, Black Pepper, Garam Masala, salt, tomato, scotch bonnet peppers (I included the seeds; this is a FIERY dish) and grated ginger. Mix well and allow it to marinate, for at least 2 hours, overnight will be best.
I used a traditional coal pot, as mentioned above, so I got my fire started. To be honest, the smokey flavor from the burning wood or charcoal, gives any curry dish a wonderful flavor, you CANNOT achieve on a stove-top.
Now, in a heavy pot, heat the oil, then add the onion and garlic (I kept the cloves whole). Turn your heat down to low, and cook for 2-3 minutes – but don’t burn the garlic, please.
With the heat still on low, add the coriander, allspice, cardamon and cumin seeds, and stir. Cook for 3 minutes.
It’s now time to add your favorite curry powder, and cook (low heat) for 3 to 4 minutes, to cook off the rawness of the curry, and to bloom the spices, which makes up the curry.
Crank up the heat and add the seasoned goat to the pot; stir well to coat each piece of goat with that curry goodness. Cover the pot, up to medium/low heat. Add the water to the same bowl you marinated the goat in, and set aside for later.
After 15 minutes, crank up the heat and remove the lid. The goal is to burn off all the natural liquid and infuse the meat with the curry flavor. Takes about 5-7 minutes on high heat. Try to get to where you see the oil we started off with… at the bottom of the pot.
Now go in with the water, we reserved in the bowl we marinated the goat in, and bring to a boil.
Two hours later, on a simmer/low heat (lid on the pot), taste for salt, make sure it’s tender to your liking and reduce the gravy to the consistency you like (turn up the heat to achieve this). Now top with the chopped Shado beni and bird’s eye pepper. You’re done! An unbelievable curry goat your family will insist on, time and time again.
Remember depending on the age of the goat, it may take a bit longer to get it fork-tender, so adjust the cooking time, accordingly.
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This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award-winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes, with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, PLUS over 1 million social/fan connections, globally, every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource for Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.