- 2kg goat or mutton (scrag end, chops and/or shoulder meat).
- 3 large tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped.
- 3 garlic cloves, bashed, then roughly chopped.
- 2 onions, finely chopped.
- 1â€“2 Scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded and finely chopped.
- A few good sprigs of thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme).
- A good bunch of coriander (leaves and roots).
- 2 tbsp HP sauce (optional but very authentic).
- 50g clarified butter (or use a good cooking oil).
For the Jamaican curry blend:
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds.
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns.
- 12 cardamom pods.
- 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds.
- 1 cinnamon stick.
- 1 tbsp ground ginger.
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric.
To prepare the curry blend:
- Dry-roast the first 5 spices by tossing them for a couple of minutes in a hot, dry frying pan, then pound in a pestle and mortar or grind in a coffee or spice grinder.
- Mix with the ginger and turmeric.
- Cut the goat/mutton into good-sized chunks (I prefer 2â€“3cm thick chunky slices to even cubes; think in terms of 3â€“4 pieces per person), trimming off only the really excessive fat.
- In a large bowl (big enough to take the meat), combine 2 level tbsp of the freshly ground spice mix with the tomatoes, garlic, onions and chillies.
- Strip the thyme leaves off their stalks, bruise with a knife blade and add to the bowl.
- Finely chop the roots and stalks of the coriander (set aside the leaves for adding to the curry at the end) and add them.
- Add the HP sauce.
- Add the meat to the marinade, rubbing the marinade in well with your fingers.
- You should spend a bit of time over this, working the spices into the meat and enjoying the smell that rises from the bowl.
- Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
- Remove the meat from the seasoning, knocking off any loose bits of onion or tomato (these will be fried separately later).
- In a large pan, fry the meat in the butter until it is nicely browned. Youâ€™ll need to do this in at least 2 batches.
- Transfer to a large casserole (in the Caribbean theyâ€™d use a cast iron Dutch pot).
- Fry the seasoning that youâ€™ve just taken the meat out of â€“ everything thatâ€™s left in the bowl â€“ until the onions are softened.
- Add to the meat in the pot.
- Deglaze the pan with a little water and add these juices, along with enough extra water just to cover the meat.
- Add a scant teaspoon of salt.
- Bring to the boil, then turn it down to the gentlest possible simmer.
- Transfer to a very low oven, about 120Â°C/Gas Mark Â½, or cook on the hob, until the meat is very tender.
- It will need at least 2, more like 3, hours.
- Serve sprinkled with the chopped coriander leaves, accompanied by plain boiled rice and fried plantains, plus mango chutney or other Jamaican pickles.
One of our customers has commented: “We cooked it for around 8 hours really slowly, as it was a bit tough after the recipe said it would be done. If we were doing it again, we wouldnâ€™t add liquid to it, as it was very soupy and needed reduced quite a bit before serving.”
The authentic Caribbean curry goat is, of course, made with goat meat. You can get goat in the UK but itâ€™s hard to track down. Mutton or at least older autumn lamb, makes a very acceptable alternative. Use cheaper stewing cuts. I like a mixture of shoulder meat, scrag end and neck chops, and I leave the chops and scrag end on the bone. Every Caribbean cook has their own version of this dish and the spice combinations vary wildly. You can buy Jamaican-blend curry powder or, more satisfyingly, you can make up a batch of your own, as described below.
Courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Â© River Cottage