We’re at the St. Thomas food market, USVI, and lo ‘n behold there is a SPECIAL on goat meat! Well this pirate is certainly not going to pass up a deal like this… $3.99 marked down from $5.99/lb.! The thought of it sent me back to Kenya in the late 70’s, the first time I had goat. It was fresh (maybe a little too fresh…greeting the goats across the fence one moment, hanging from the trees the next) and curried with African spices. I’m sure I could whip up an equally great goat curry with Caribbean spices for our welcoming hosts anchored in the harbor. It’s the least I could do to repay their generous hospitality of letting us hang out with them in the Virgin Islands.
Well come to find out…another lo ‘n behold…they were not as excited about goat curry as I was. I’ll be damned. So I needed to make this extra special.
After I gathered up the goat meat I headed to the produce section to get ginger, garlic, scotch bonnets, pineapple, cilantro, scallions, carrots, onions… The Captain and First Mate, Gary and Torie, gave each other “that look” when they saw the pineapple. Apparently that’s a faux pas in the islands. They quickly bagged it up before it ever reached the cabin and hung it from the stern. Potential bugs. Poor pineapple, sentenced with no trial. Punished and hanged…guilty before proving its innocence.
Caribbean Curried Goat
3 lbs goat meat
2 tablespoons coconut oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3-4 scotch bonnets (habañeros)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
4 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 cups beef stock (can be made with bouillon)
2 tablespoons corn starch
Rinse the goat meat. As you an see there is a lot of fat and bones on this. Mince the garlic and ginger. Chop the onion. Poke large slits in the scotch bonnets so they release their heat and flavor, but you can easily pull them out before serving if desired.
In a large pot over a medium flame, sauté the garlic, ginger and scotch bonnets in the coconut oil.
Add the onions and goat meat. Cover and let brown for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the broth, curry powder and allspice. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer.
Now time for sundowners, as cocktail hour was called in East Africa. Enjoy a drink or two at sunset while this braises for an hour and a half.
Make some white rice. Chop the carrots and add to the pot. Continue to simmer the goat curry for at least 20 minutes.
Dissolve the cornstarch into a small amount of water and add to the pot, stirring until thickened. Cover, turn off the heat and let rest for 15 minutes or until you are finished with cocktail hour. Or cocktail two-hours, which will be tonight as the beauty of the sunset continues to deliver.
Serve the goat curry over white rice and garnish with generous amounts of chopped pineapple, scallions and cilantro.
I sat back in anticipation. Were the captain, first mate and my skipper going to push their meal aside and grab granola bars as they had threatened? Whew! They were all pleasantly surprised. The goat was tougher than lamb…it could have braised all afternoon I think…but had a mild, less pungent flavor. The spices blended together beautifully and the heat of the scotch bonnets dissipated with the long cooking time. Although still spicy, the sweet, cooling pineapple and cilantro were the perfect compliment.
Cooking in the islands is a Galley Pirate’s dream! Visit again as the Captain and crew of SV Solitude are presented with more island delights.