In a former life I was vegetarian. That is until I met my husband. On one of our first dates, he brought me to a Caribbean restaurant in his neighborhood and offered me some curry goat. That was the last I saw of my vegetarian life . . .
Now, this may be a strange pick for a recipe to suggest to most American families. Goat is not a popular item here. But we’re unusual. Goat is one of the most widely-eaten meats in the world.
Also called “chevon”, goat meat is one of the healthiest meats you can get as well. It is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than any other land-roving meat, including chicken.
And I can personally vouch for the fact that it has lots of other good nutrition not found normally in other meats. Goats love to browse and graze. Part of their popularity worldwide is that they will live anywhere on anything, eating tree branches, leaves and scrub. Most commercial goat meat you get is still raised this way. While there may be some grains in their diet, there is also lots of greens.
And in many cases, the goat meat you find may have had only grass in its making. Our goats are like that.
This means that the meat you get from goats will usually have lots of omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid, vitamin E, and beta carotene in it.
And you’ll be surprised when you cook goat. While it has a flavor to it, it’s not as fatty or strong a flavor as lamb, in my opinion. The curry works with it beautifully. I have had many a person sample my curry goat and demand more despite their assumptions about goat meat. My kids, who were initially skeptical, gobble it up.
Where to find goat meat?
If you live in a city, go to any Caribbean, Middle Eastern, South Asian, African, South American, Eastern European (the list goes on) community butcher. When we lived in Brooklyn, we got most of our goat from a Pakistani butcher up the block. Look around, you may be surprised at how easy it is to find.
If you live in the country, start talking to farmers at your farmer’s market. Many small farmers raise goats for milk. And while a lot of goat owners aren’t goat eaters, many are willing to slaughter and package a goat for a customer. Every spring goat dairy farmers have male goat kids, or whethers, they need to get rid of – for cheap.
However, increasingly, because of goat meat’s super nutrition and taste, more and more chefs are looking for it. And in response, farmers are specializing in goat meat production. Ask around.
Curry Goat Recipe
This recipe is a favorite because not only is it tasty and nutritious, it’s easy to prepare. For best results, put everything together the night before so the spices can really go to work overnight. Then simply start the crockpot the next day and Voila!
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion chopped
4 scallions chopped
4-6 pounds goat meat, chopped in stew pieces (If it’s traditionally butchered, these will usually have pieces of bone in them. That’s fine)
5-8 T West Indian curry powder (this is different from East Indian curry)
Scotch bonnet pepper
1/8 t. Allspice
½ t. Paprika
2 cubed potatoes
1. The night before, mix everything together in your crockpot dish except the potato.
2. The next day, put your crockpot dish in the heating unit and put it on high for 5-6 hours. You can also cook it on low for longer. Curry goat is a stew that can cook for a long time – the longer the better. So time it so it suits you.
3. In the last 45 minutes-1 hour, add the potato.
4. Adjust seasonings – add more curry if you need. Cook until the meat is falling off the bones.
Serve with rice and side of braised cabbage with pepper.
Be warned, it’s not a dish for dainty eaters. You’ll have to pick around the bones. For young children, make sure you carefully remove the meat from the bones before serving it to them.
Let me know how it goes!