Let’s start off with something out of the ordinary. Although not out of the ordinary for many parts of the world, as goat maked up 63% of the world’s red meat consumption. I had often wondered what goat tastes like, imagining it to be a bit like gamey lamb.
So the other day I managed to get my hand on a shoulder of goat and decided that a curry was probably the best way to go. I knew from previous research that goat is very lean – lower in fat and cholesterol and higher in fat that beef – so it would dry out very easily and get tough. Also, the age of the animal dictates how strong and tender it will turn out. Unfortunately I had no idea as to how old this beastie was, so again cooking a curry would allow me to cook slowly, with lots of moisture to ensure success.
The choices were a Balti curry, a Jamaican curry or a Malay curry. Our weather is really hot at the moment so I decided to go with a zingy Malaysian dish I found here .
Me being me, I had to swap and change a few things. I’ll write my recipe down here but if you want the original you can go to the link.
Ingredients for the curry paste
1 large brown onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 large green chiilli seeded and chopped (or more to taste)
¼ cup toasted desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ cup chopped coriander leaves, stems & roots
1 x 1 kg goat leg, cut into 2cm dice
2 cups water
2x 400 g cans coconut milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
juice of 1 lime
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
2 kaffir limes leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
juice of 1 lime
- Preheat over to 150° C
- In a dry frypan toast the desicated coconut, moving constantly until you can smell the oils beinbg released. You don’t want to add any colour.
- If you are using whole spices, use the same toasting process to release their flavour. Once cooled, grind in a mortar and pestle.
- To make the curry paste, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to form a paste.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine curry paste with coconut milk, toss in the diced goat meat making sure it is well coated. Put everything into a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish and add the water, lemongrass and lime leaves. Add the salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
- Transfer to oven. Cook for 3 hours or until the goat is very tender.
- Stir in the coriander and lime juice.
- Serve – Serves 4 people
It’s really hard to take an attractive photo of a curry, it always looks like slop – but here is the result.
It took substantially longer than the original recipe suggested. One of the reasons may have been that my piece of meat was of an old animal and as such needed a longer cooking time to become tender. The other, is that there is so much liquid in the original recipe. I ended up cooking in the oven, then transferring the casserole dish to the stove top where I cooked it, uncovered, for another good 30 minutes to reduce and thicken the curry sauce.
Things I would do different next time:
- Make sure I knew more about the meat I bought.
- Fry off the curry paste, add coconut milk, bring to the boil, then simmer until well combined and fragrant. Then add the meat, water etc.
HeWhoWontGrowUp has had goat a few times and only once had an AMAZING dish – somewhere on some deserted Indonesian island. (Did he get the recipe? Oh no, of course he didn’t.) He was encouraging, but found the meat too chewy. Not tough, if that makes sense, it was very tender and fell to bits easily, but it was chewy. The taste of the meat didn’t do anything for him either.
Our little Professor (5) and Pixie Boy (3) happily ate everything, loving the mildly spiced sauce mixed with their steamed rice.
I didnt mind the texture of the meat but thought the flavour was representative of an animal that should have gone into a leisurely retirement, not the butcher
We’ll definitely try goat again, but next time I will buy better meat.
As much as this recipe wasn’t the most raging success, you won’t know until you try. Give the unusual a try, you might be pleasantly surprised.