Saturday 1 August 2015

Winston's Curry

So I bought a goat about two months ago. 

Hmm ... maybe that's a confusing way to start this story.  Let me back it up a bit.  I have a friend who is a sheep farmer and I buy lamb meat from him once a year.  When the lamb is "ready" (whatever that means), he takes the lamb to the butcher and has it cut to my specifications and then delivers it to me (sight unseen so to speak). 

I've been wanting goat meat lately - mostly for the curries.  There are stores in Ottawa that sell Halal goat meat, but to my understanding (feel free to correct me if I am wrong here), Halal is more about the method of killing and has nothing to do with whether the animal was raised in a humane, organic way.  My friend knows a goat farmer just a few minutes from me so I called him up.  Turns out it would be way to costly for him to take the goat to the butcher himself and he'd have to charge me a bundle.  So my friend suggested he take me to a livestock auction and buy my own goat ... he would then take it to the butcher for me along with my lamb that I had already ordered.

I used to be a vegetarian so I realize I've had a radical change in how I think about eating meat.  My reasons for being vegetarian were more about the atrocities and resultant health issues associated with commercial meat production.  I decided that if I were to continue eating meat, it must be local, organically raised and ... I should at least be able to look it in the face (well, once in a while).  In fact, I personally know the farmers who raise 95% of the meat that I eat.

So I bought a goat about two months ago. 

The auction itself is an entire other story ... weird experience for sure.  But when my sheep-farmer friend took it home overnight before taking it to the butcher, he named it Winston.  So I dedicate this recipe to my goat, Winston, to whom I am ever so grateful for giving up his life so my friends and I could enjoy this curry.


The curry recipe:

Just a few notes about this curry as I've tried to make goat curries before but they weren't very good.  This one was AMAZING!  And from what I've researched, I think the critical ingredient is the Jamaican curry powder.  Previously I had tried to make my own curry powder mix, but it turns out I really needed the packaged kind - so not easy to find for everyone.  The other interesting part is that you don't cook the spices and onions first and build the flavours up in the same way as Indian curries.  The onions (from the marinade) go in raw closer to the end of the process.

1.5 lb of goat meat (leg plus neck slices), cubed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp Jamaican curry powder
1 medium onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves, sliced
2 jalapenos, minced (with seeds)
5-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cups stock or water
1 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 pound potatoes, cubed

Combine the cubed meat, salt, pepper, curry powder, onion, garlic and jalapenos.  Refrigerate overnight or at least 5 hours.  When ready to cook, remove the meat and set aside the rest of the marinade (onions, etc.).

Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and brown the cubed meat.  Add thyme and 2 cups of stock.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer.

After one hour, add the remainder of the marinade (onions, jalapenos) plus the remaining 2 cups of stock.  Take this opportunity to check seasonings - add more salt or curry powder if needed.  Add potatoes and ketchup.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes and meat are tender.


  1. I actually grew up with two vegetarian parents, although my mom did give me some form of meat or fish at dinner each night as she thought the added protein was important for me. She only served beef and pork, so I never developed a taste for goat or lamb and I usually sub out beef in the curries that call for it. My husband actually thought it was "all in my head" at one point and when we were at an Indian restaurant while we were dating, he ordered "meat" samosas for us. It didn't even occur to me that the "meat" may not be beef, but one bite was all it took. He has not questioned my "tastes" since.

    1. Growing up, it was mostly beef and pork for me too. Vegetarian for most of my early adult years (24-37), I didn't taste lamb, goat, venison or even most fish/seafood until my late thirties. So glad I did though!

  2. Don't think I ever had goat meat. I was a vegetarian for about a year back in the 70s (Frances Moore Lappe and all that). Then I volunteered to do a trade show in Edmonton in February (no one else would go). I knew I could turn it into a ski trip to Banff. Try eating vegetarian in Banff in February. By end of week I gave up and just enjoyed the many steakhouses, getting a big slab of bloody beef, a baked potato, salad, and a bucket of beers.

    1. That is so true! Hard to be in the Canadian Prairies and not eat BEEF!