Jamaican Goat (or Lamb) Curry
With the many cultures around the world that enjoy goat, there’s no shortage of recipes for preparing it. Jamaican goat curry, served with coconut rice and beans, is one of the most celebrated recipes for preparing goat, and is enjoyed in a lot more places that just in Jamaica.
Probably the most important part of the recipe in our mind, isn’t the specific blend of spices, the habaneros, or serving with the classic rice and beans cooked in coconut milk, it’s the cut of goat used, or rather, the lack of a “specific cut”.
Bone-in lamb and goat meat is the cut of meat traditionally used to make most curries and stews calling for goat. The reason is simple: cutting a goat up into small pieces is something anyone can can do, anywhere in the world, with little to no regard to their socio-economic class or purchasing power. Simply put, bone-in goat meat is the most efficient way to cook with many animals, especially small ruminants like lamb and goat.
Ethics and efficient meat processing techniques aside, this is a delicious curry from Chef Alan Bergo, scented with allspice and the fruity heat of habaneros. Make sure to serve it with the traditional rice and beans cooked in coconut milk.
This recipe is by chef Alan Bergo. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a veteran of the culinary industry, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Founder of the website Forager Chef, he’s best known as a respected authority on Midwestern foraging. Learn more about Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at Forager Chef.
Jamaican Goat (or Lamb) Curry
- 2 lbs Bone-in goat meat bone-in lamb can be substituted
- 2 small to medium-sized onions
- 3 tablespoons sweet curry
- 5 tablespoons freshly ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped ginger
- 2 habanero/scotch bonnet peppers seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
- 3 lamb fat or coconut oil
- 1 large sweet potato about 12 oz, cut into 2 inch squares
- 4 cups goat, or other stock or water in a pinch
- Combine the goat, salt, curry powder, allspice and thyme and allow to sit overnight.
- The next day, rough chop the onion, garlic, ginger and habaneros, then pulse in a food processor and reserve, be careful not to touch the habaneros, or just use gloves. The onion mixture should be coarse, not too fine, not too large.
- Brown the goat pieces in a dutch oven in the fat, being careful not to burn the curry coating. When the meat is browned, add the onion mixture and cook for two minutes, then add the tomato paste, stock, cover and simmer on low heat for 2 hours or until the meat is just about fork tender.
- While the meat is cooking, peel the potatoes and cut into large pieces, add to the pot, and cook until tender. Double check the seasoning, adjust as needed and serve in bowls, with the coconut rice on the side, and a separate bowl for discarding bones.
Coconut Rice and Peas
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- Generous 2 cups meat stock
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- A small handful of fresh thyme, chopped optional, about a generous teaspoon
- 1 bunch scallions sliced
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 1 15oz can pigeon peas or red beans rinsed
- Toast the rice in a 350 F oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Mix the coconut milk with the stock and salt (you should have 4 cups, adjust the amount of stock accordingly if you want to use another rice like basmati).
- Mix the rice with coconut milk mixture, beans, sliced scallions, and thyme, stir well, then bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.