Jamaican Curry Goat
Curry goat is an all-time favourite Jamaican food. It’s popular on restaurant lunch menus, Sunday dinner tables and most of all – at special events. Curry goat tends to always make the menu whether Jamaicans are celebrating a wedding, birthday, Christmas or simply a family get-together.
One should visit rural Jamaica to experience curry goat prepared in the most authentic way. There, the cooking process is typically from farm to plate and begins with the butchering of a fat and healthy goat. The goat would then be stewed to perfection (often on a wood-fire) and served to eagerly-waiting guests – ‘Pluto Shervington’ style! In Jamaica, whenever a goat is butchered, the whole goat is used to prepare the meal. So celebrations would kick off with a cup of hot and peppery goat head and belly soup (mannish water), then close with a plate of rich, spicy curry goat stew often served with a side of white rice. To this day, whenever there’s an event that caters to Jamaicans, the host knows it’s best to have a big pot of curry goat ready to keep every one happy.
Which Makes the Best Curry Goat – Local or Imported Goat Meat?
No matter where you are in the world, farm fresh is always best. That’s why local meat and produce are sold at a premium anywhere you are in the world. The quality of fresh local produce is usually high, and those who love it, and can afford it will buy it.
Despite locally (Jamaican) sourced goat ’stew’ meat being significantly more expensive than its imported counterpart, many Jamaicans prefer it. In fact, I know many Jamaicans who have such a strong preference for local goat that no other option exists when cooking curry goat. Jamaican curry goat is most lauded for its rich pungent flavour that tantalizes the nostrils and makes the mouth-water. Local goat is also meatier which some people find appetizing and satisfying.
However, imported goat meat makes delicious curry goat too. Compared to local goat meat, it’s more tender, more affordable and more available, especially when you’re outside Jamaica.
When it comes to choosing local versus imported goat meat for your curry goat, it all boils down to personal preference. If you want a rich authentic Jamaican taste and can find local goat, choose local. If you love bony meat and prefer a more delicate taste, choose imported goat meat. Either way, you can’t go wrong with my flavourful curry goat recipe.
Curry Goat Cooking Tips
For me, great-tasting curry goat is achieved through the right combination of herbs and spices. Here are my three tips when cooking Jamaican curry goat:
- It’s best to marinate your seasoned goat meat up to eight hours in the refrigerator.
- Curry goat can take up to 3 hours to cook. To reduce cooking time, half cook the goat meat in a pressure cooker.
- ‘Burn the curry’ by sautéing about a tablespoon of curry powder before cooking your goat. This process releases more of the curry flavour and colour.
Give my recipe a try and let me know how it works for you!
Enjoy your curry goat with white rice, rice and peas or ground provision. Complete this meal with my refreshing Pineapple Ginger drink.
Jamaican Curry Goat Recipe
- 2 kg goat stew meat (bone-in) cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp fennel seeds optional
- 1 ½ tbsp salt levelled or to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp allspice powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder unsalted
- 1 tbsp garlic powder unsalted
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- ½ tbsp soya sauce msg-free
- 1 inch-thick ginger root or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- ½ medium scotch bonnet pepper de-seeded
- 1 small tomato diced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 6 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
- ½ large bell pepper diced
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2 stalks scallion chopped
- 6-8 pimento seeds
- 1 medium irish potato diced
- ½ cube chicken bouillon MSG free
Burning the curry
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp curry powder for burning
- 1 tsp butter optional
- In a large bowl, rinse the goat stew in vinegar, lime or lemon juice then drain completely.
- Season the goat stew with salt, black pepper, curry powder, cumin powder, allspice, fennel seed, piminto seed, onion powder, garlic powder and ginger powder, and soya sauce.
- Prep (cut up)the fresh herbs and spices (onion, garlic, thyme, bell pepper, ginger root, scallion, scotch bonnet pepper, tomato) and separate the fresh seasoning into 2 equal parts.
- Add half the portion of fresh seasoning to the goat stew and mix in well.
- Set aside the second portion of fresh seasoning to use later in the cooking process.
- Use a large utensil to thoroughly coat the goat stew meat with all the seasoning.
- Cover and let the goat stew marinate in the refrigerator for 6 - 8 hours or move immediately to the next step.
- Heat the cooking oil and butter on medium-low heat in a large skillet.
- Immediately add 1 tablespoon of the curry powder and stir quickly and thoroughly for approximately 15 seconds.
- Add the seasoned goat stew, stir for 30 seconds, cover the pot and let cook on medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Next, add enough boiling water to cover the goat stew. Cover the pot and let cook on high heat for 2 ½ to 3 hours.
- Remember to check and stir the pot every 10 minutes, ensuring the water doesn’t dry out too much.
- Each time your water runs low, add more boiling water to completely cover the goat stew until the meat is cooked.
- After approximately 2 ¾ hours, test a small piece of the goat stew to see if it has the desired texture.
- When the goat meat is completely soft/cooked, add the chopped irish potatoes, the second portion of fresh seasoning and 2 cups water. Cover and cook on medium-high heat for a further 8 -10 minutes.
- Taste the gravy. If it needs more flavour or salt, add the half cube of chicken bouillon.
- Reduce heat to medium, stir the pot, then cover it. Cook the curry goat for another 5 minutes. leave it uncovered to allow the gravy to thicken (approximately 5 minutes).
- After 5 minutes, stir the pot and check the consistency of the gravy. If the gravy is too thin, uncover the pot and allow it to thicken.
- When the gravy has the desired consistency, turn the burner off, re-cover the pot, and allow the curry goat to soak up all the delicious flavours from the gravy! (3 minutes)
- Serve hot with rice, roti or boiled ground provisions, then bless up and enjoy it!