As many Jamaicans prepare for a special occasion, there is always a lot of contemplation about where to get that special goat meat (that go-to other red meat). No major celebratory event in Jamaica is ever commenced without goat meat; anything from birthdays, to funerals and even weddings – not to mention the big ‘dance’ parties.
Now to get the most authentic goat meat means ordering it from a country butcher, who has selected the ‘smelliest’ of ram goats for slaughter.
The smelly goat is particularly important for those persons who are making mannish water soup. Ram Goats pee on themselves to attract their females and there is a very literal meaning to the term “horny old goat” as male goats are notorious for their very high libido. Mannish water is therefore said to be able to increase stamina or sexual virility in human males when consumed.
Hence, the smelliest ‘renkin’ goat is best.
For now, let’s stick to the more popular curry goat, as mannish water preparation can be a little overwhelming for the uninitiated.
As a Jamaican, I have never been to a birthday party, Christmas dinner or funeral that did not serve curry goat. This should tell you just how important it is in Jamaican culture.
- 3 lbs goat meat (cut up into bite size pieces)
- ½ oz Vinegar
- 1 oz vegetable oil
- 4 oz Jamaican curry powder
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (chopped and deseeded)
- 1 oz black pepper
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 6 pimento seeds (Allspice)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- ½ lb carrots (optional)
- ½ Irish potatoes (optional)
- Salt to taste
Wash goat meat with vinegar and water. Rub all the seasonings into the goat meat and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour (I recommend marinating overnight for added flavour).
In a saucepan, heat the oil on high until it smells. Add 1 oz of curry powder to the hot oil. Stir curry powder and optionally, a bit of ginger, in the oil until the colour starts to change. Put the goat meat in the saucepan now.
Stir the meat in the hot oil for two minutes; be careful not to burn the meat. Add 1 oz water to the pot, keep stirring until the meat looks like the muscles are tightening up.
Now turn down the heat to medium and add 2 cups of water to the meat in the saucepan. Cover the pot and let this stew simmer for 20 minutes. Check on the meat in the pot, stir again and add water to cover the meat. Simmer for another 20 minutes, and then check to see if the meat is medium soft. (This 20 minutes plus an additional 20 minutes simmer time can be augmented by using a pressure cooker for 15-20 minutes).
When meat is medium soft, add the optional carrots and Irish potatoes if used. Let the stew simmer for another 15 minutes on a slightly lower heat (between medium and low), until gravy has thicken and meat is fully cooked.
Can serve 6-8 persons; accompanied by boiled green bananas, white rice or rice and peas.