Curry goat is a classic Caribbean dish that you expect to see at every Caribbean family gathering or party. As every island has their own unique differences I can only really speak from a Jamaican perspective when I say that this is one of the best dishes to come out of Jamaica and unless you don’t eat red meat or you really don’t like a curry flavour – you will love this! I definitely have to have it on my menu when it’s time to celebrate, and I don’t like to brag (honestly) but my curry goat gets a 10/10 every time. So of course, I am sharing it with you all so we can all be winners in this game and shut down the party… properly!
As with most dishes, it’s all about the quality of the ingredients, the right flavours and the technique. As simple as it sounds, cooking goat meat is not something everyone can do and in your greatest efforts of getting it tender and juicy it can easily be overcooked, trashy and you will end up with “curry goat soup” (no one likes this, it’s not an alternative and it will never be ok.)
Curry goat can take some people a few attempts to master so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t turn out perfect the first time. If you follow the recipe people will probably never know anyway! 😉
Because curry goat is such an intricate dish, this post is a bit heavy with information but if you want yours to turn out like mine (and trust me… you do) then keep reading after the recipe for some of my curry goat wisdom. It’s a lot I know hehehe but I wouldn’t be telling you if you didn’t need to know. 🙂
The key to success if you want an authentic tasting (Jamaican style) curry goat that is one of a kind, is in the curry powder you use. Understandably, not everyone will be able to find this particular brand –although it is available to purchase from Amazon at a rather cheeky price – but where possible please please please use it. Betapac is an authentic Jamaican curry powder (made in Jamaica might I add) perfect for curry dishes. I can’t even explain the differences between this brand and the other alternatives – it’s like some kind of umami! Other than online you can find it in nearly any ethnic/Caribbean specialist store (if you live in London you will find it in places like Brixton, Tottenham, Stamford Hill, Dalston).
Try and find a butcher that you can trust to purchase your goat meat, to ensure that it is fresh and definitely goat (some people will try and sell you lamb/mutton. It’s neither the same nor does it taste the same). You need a good mixture of meaty pieces and boney pieces so I recommend requesting meat from the shoulder. However if you do prefer the meatier parts then I would suggest asking for the leg.
The consistency of the “gravy” is another thing people like to debate. I myself like a ‘light’ gravy with ‘body’. So it’s not like water but it’s not so thick it’s like a stew, nestled somewhere perfectly between the two. My big tip for your curry goat gravy is that if you find that you’ve added too much water and you need to thicken it, DO NOT use gravy granules. These will alter the taste and also potentially make it too salty. Make sure your curry goat is seasoned perfectly and then use cornflour to thicken.
Finally, to bring it all together I recommend serving this with plain basmati/long grain rice. This is how most people eat it in Jamaica (not with rice and peas as most people think) and I love it with some homemade coleslaw or fried plantain on the side.