I have always wanted to cook with goat. Apart from being one of my favourite animals (love the goat videos) they are by far the unsung hero in the meat department. It has a gorgeously subtle flavour, far less fat than a lamb shoulder and it is the perfect meat for carrying heavy spices. This would have to be in my top 5 curries, in fact I would even go so far as to say it is numero uno. Big call but I do believe it was the flavour of the meat that took this curry to its grand heights because it was different, not your everyday. Outside the box…….a little like myself 😉
Goat may not be as difficult to get as you think. Ask your local butcher or get online and see how it is sourced in your area. If you are in the Hunter I found gorgeous rolled and boned goat shoulders from Hunter Valley Chicken & Game. I also used a Sri Lankan spice blend for this curry that I got from Herbies online (use link below) so there are no excuses that you can’t get the ingredients. If by some chance you can’t get any goat then by all means use lamb shoulder.
Prep time: 20 Minutes Cooking time: 2.5 Hours $$ Medium Budget
2 tbs of oil
1 tbs of unsalted butter
1.2 kg boned goat shoulder, diced into 2.5cm chunks
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5cm piece of ginger, finely grated
4 sprigs of curry leaves, leaves removed and stalks discarded
1 large brown onion, peeled, halved and sliced top to bottom
1 square of shrimp paste (or 1 teaspoon)
2 tbs of Sri Lankan curry powder
1 tsp of coriander seeds, ground in a mortar & pestle
2 tsp of chilli powder (more if you like it hot)
1 tbs of turmeric
1 tsp of salt & a good sprinkle of black pepper
400ml of coconut milk
400ml of water
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
12 eschallots, peeled and left whole
2 large green chillies, seeds removed and roughly sliced (not too finely)
Extra butter and oil for frying the eschallots and chillies (1 tsp of butter, 1 tbs of oil)
A good handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Greek yoghurt and steamed basmati rice to serve
For the Lemon Pickle:
2 tbs of olive oil
1 whole lemon, quartered and very finely sliced (any seeds that you can get at removed)
2 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of turmeric
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
Heat a heavy based pan or pot to a medium heat and add the butter and oil (you can use ghee if you prefer). Once melted add the onion, garlic, ginger and curry leaves. Fry for approximately 5 minutes until the onion is soft and then add the goat. Fry the goat until is starting to colour from the heat, turning it over all the time. Once browned add the spice blend, turmeric, chilli powder and salt, again stirring continuously to stop the spices sticking to the bottom until gorgeously aromatic. Pour in the lemon juice, coconut milk and water and then crumple the shrimp paste into the sauce before stirring to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer then place on a tight fitting lid. Simmer for approximately 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
To make the pickle, heat a small fry pan and add the oil. Once warm add the mustard seeds and when they start to pop and sizzle add the lemon, chilli, turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and keep on the heat for about 20 seconds giving the pan bit of a shake. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Heat another pan and add the extra butter and oil. Once sizzling pop in the eschallots and fry them for about 5 minutes, turning and basting periodically until golden. Add the chilli when they are almost done and the add them to the curry. Gently fold them through and then simmer the curry with the lid off for a further 30 minutes. Have a taste of the curry and adjust any seasoning if necessary.
I like to serve this kind of curry banquet style. Rice, pickle, yoghurt, pappadum, flatbreads and even a nice green salad in the centre of the table or kitchen bench with the curry proudly taking centre stage. It’s nice to see people heading back for seconds and even nicer when they are too polite and there are leftovers.