Saturday, November 06, 2010

Great Goat

To begin with, I've never liked goat until now and over the past two years have shifted my blogging focus from food to rocks. Every once and a while, however, something comes along to ignite my culinary passions when time is available to photograph and write about it. The last such occasion involved duck tongues with chives flowers that Asian Court on Baltimore National Pike near Ellicott City was serving. Soon thereafter, however, I found where Baltimore's inimitable food-blogger, the Minx had beaten me to the quack.

However, to the best of my knowledge, no one else has yet uncovered this particular Caribbean goat curry dish, for which the recipe and main ingredient hail from Baltimore's Downtown Farmers Market. Arousing my curiosity was something I read several months ago that convinced me the goat meat from Jeanne Dietz-Band's Many Rocks Farm in Washington County was special and different. Particularly encouraging was that Jeanne's goats were free from animal hormones and antibiotics. Their diets, meanwhile, consisted of grass, locally grown barley, and soy.

I also suspect Jeanne's recipe for "Caribbean Goat Curry," had just as much to do with my extremely pleasant experience. It turned out perfectly on first attempt despite a couple of minor questions arising during preparation. Having asked Jeanne about them when returning the following week, here it is. Any deviation from the specifics of the recipe provided by Many Rocks Farm will be shown in Italics.

  • 1 pound Many Rocks Farm goat meat in small cubes. ( Jeanne sells meat cut into the proper sized cubes in approximately 1 lb. packages .)

  • Finely Grated Lime Rind and Juice (The grated exterior rind and juice of one Persian lime proved sufficient.)

  • 2 Cloves Garlic Crushed

  • 3 Tablespoons Oil (I used vegetable oil)

  • 1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped

  • 2 Teaspoons Curry Powder (no specifics were provided. I used generic, and it worked fine.)

  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin

  • 1 Tablespoon Tabasco Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Puree (Because some of the last really good local fresh tomatoes of the season were available at the farmers market, I removed the seeds and skin from one, ran it through the blender and used 4 tablespoons since the taste was milder than with a canned puree.)

  • 2 Ounces Creamed Coconut (Use what has settled at the top of a can of unsweetened coconut milk and save the rest of the coconut milk for another purpose.)

  • 1 Teaspoon Salt

  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Coriander (cilantro) Finely Chopped

  • Cooked Rice for Serving

Place the meat in a non-metallic bowl. Add the grated rind and lime juice along with the garlic. Stir well, cover, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. In a large pan, heat the oil and cook the onions until soft. Remove onions. Sear meat on high heat until sealed. Lower heat and stir in the curry powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the Tabasco sauce, tomato puree, and creamed coconut and cook for 5 minutes. Add the salt and approximately 1 1/4 pints of water, and return the cooked onions---Jeanne's recipe didn't say to return the onions, but she agreed with me that this could be a positive---bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender. Stir in fresh coriander and serve over hot rice.

Note: Do not despair that the consistency of the sauce with this curry is thin enough to be like soup. That simply makes it all the better, especially when served over plenty of rice.)