Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goat (Or Lamb) Curry

When I was married to my East-Indian Ex husband, I used to cook this dish about once a month.  He would go to a local Asian butcher and bring home a bag of goat meat chinks (about 2 inches by 2 inch cubes).  Sometimes I would have to cut some tough outer skin off a few pieces, or cut them down slightly smaller to about 1 inch cubes.    One time I used lamb, but I prefer goat.  Depending how much turmeric you use, it can also sometimes come out with a slightly greenish color.  Use less (or no) turmeric if you want it more like the picture.  I find that goat can be rather tough, so its a good idea to stew it down for a few hours on low, to really tenderize the meat.   Mmmmmm.

Goat Curry (also works for lamb)

Spice mixture:

1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground black pepper
14 tsp ground cloves
2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 bay leaves
4 cardamom pods
2 chopped green chilies (optional)
2 tablespoons ginger/garlic paste (peeled ginger and garlic finely minced together)
1-2 cups water or any kind of broth you like
1.5 lbs goat meat, cup into 1-inch cubes (ask the butcher to remove the skin.  You can leave the bones in, it adds good flavor)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped


Mix all spice mixture ingredients with the 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl to make a past.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions, bay leaves, cardamom, and green chilies.  Fry until onions start to become light brown, stirring frequently.  Add in the ginger/garlic past and fry (always stirring) until garlic and ginger begin to sweat their flavors out (about 1 minute). 

Add the spice paste and blend thoroughly, adding smal splashed of the water or broth, if it starts to look dry.  Do not let the spices become too dry, or they will burn.  The mixture in the pot should always be about the consistency of cream corn.  Continue stirring and cooking the onion/spice misture, adding water/broth as needed for 5 minutes. 

Add the goat meat to the onion/spice mixture.  Blend thoroughly.  Do not add any water at this point.  You need to allow the goat meat to sweat out its own juices and fat.  Allow goat to cook in its own juices for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You should see some natural liquid forming in the bottom of the pot.   Do not try to short-cut this cooking process.  It has a big effect on the flavor of the spices and meat, and how tender the meat will be.

Now add the tomatoes, and about half of the broth.  Blend well.

Goat meat is naturally a bit tough.  So in order for the meat to be nice and tender, you will need to cook it down for a while.  At this point, reduce the heat to medium.  This will keep the spices from burning, and the liquid from evaporating too fast.  Allow the goat to simmer for at least an hour.  Check and stir it from time to time.  You can even reduce the heat to low, if it seems to still be reducing the water too fast.  Add more broth/water to keep the mixture from getting to thick and dry, as needed.  It should always be between the thickness of a soup and a stew.

After an hour, check to see if the meat will easily slip off the bones.  If not, cook longer until it does.  Once the meat comes easily off the bones, the dish is done.  Remove from heat.
Serve hot by itself like a stew, or with Naan bread, or over basmati rice.

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