I try to be a culture sponge in my neighborhood. When I lived in Park Slope I drove a high end stroller to the grocery store. In Vegas I dusted my meals with glitter and regret before serving. Berlin had me eating all sorts of sausages. And now, in Crown Heights I’m cooking curried goat.
Within one block of my apartment there are three Caribbean restaurants. All present steam trays with variations on emblematic dishes: Jerk Chicken, Curried Goat, and Oxtail Stew. Served with a landslide of rice and peas, anything you order will indefinitely feed you for more than one meal. After a year and a half of eating around my ‘hood (and yes, these streets are well deserving of the abbreviation, come visit, this is not fancy Brooklyn), I decided it was high time I try my own hand at the Crown Heights staple.
Goat meat is not hard to find around here. In Park Slope, you might have to hunt, but on the other side of Prospect Park all the butcher shops know what to carry. I had the option of both cubed goat meat and whole legs. For this experiment, cubed would do just fine, after all, that is what they serve at the curry shops.
I thought the code would be hard to crack, but in fact, this is a dish made easily and with little oversight. Brown the goat, cook some onions, add curry powder and extra allspice, cover with water, and simmer. It tastes exactly like the portions I buy across the street.
Goat is inexpensive, grassfed and grazed, and simple to cook (so long as you have time). It’s a great alternative to beef should you be looking to compliment your diet with another form of animal protein. I made a giant batch of this stew at the beginning of last week, and it powered me through Halloween and the ensuing cleanup. Make life easier for yourself, cook this in large quantities, freeze what you think you won’t get to immediately, and then forget about dinner-worry for the rest of the week.
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 pounds Goat (cubed)
2 Yellow Onions, sliced
3 tablespoons Minced Ginger (~3 inches)
2 tablespoons Minced Garlic (~4 cloves)
½ Habanero Pepper, seeded and minced
6 tablespoons Yellow Curry Powder
2 tablespoons Allspice Berries (whole)
4 cups Water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Season the goat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in heavy stock pot and add goat. Cook on high heat until goat is browned on all sides. Do this in batches should pot be too small. Remove goat and set aside.
Add onions to pot and cook on medium-high for 5-7 minutes. Then add ginger, garlic, and habanero and continue to cook until onions are translucent.
Add curry powder and allspice berries, cook for 2-3 minutes to release flavors.
Return goat meat to the pot, pour water (add enough to just cover the meat), and stir everything to combine.
Put lid on pot, bring to boil over medium heat. Remove lid, drop heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours until meat is tender.