What better occasion than Cinco de Mayo to have a delicious overlapping of cultures with these Curry Goat Tacos to serve to friends. Two years ago while still figuring out if blogging was a direction I should go, I wrote a ‘Taco Night’ post on Tumblr. Three short paragraphs barely painting a picture of how I came to enjoy tacos and how the constant search for more Trini/Caribbean inspired street food and small bites in NYC birthed the idea to cook Curry Goat Tacos at home.
Back then, I made these tacos for myself and looking back on the recipe, together with curry powder I added other spices like Geera, Turmeric, Massala and green seasoning to the meat. A practice I’m not following this time around, for the cooked goat meat tasted delicious but over spicing the dish was unnecessary. Today, still using good ingredients but with a simpler approach and some preparation, my girlfriends get to try out these tacos I’ve spoken of for two years now, as we sip on homemade Mango Margaritas!
Luckily my local Halal butcher in Jersey City had young goat meat in stock at $10.00 a pound. I watched as he followed my directions of cutting the tender flesh into larger portions; braising meat is easier to accomplish with bigger pieces. Lamb can also be a substitute if finding goat meat is a challenge for you.
– The braised curried goat took two days to prepare. The first day it braised in the oven for about 2-3 hrs. Once cooked till the meat was falling off the bones, I took the meat out of the cooking liquid and refrigerated both. The second day I skimmed the fat off the top of the solidified cooking liquid, shredded the meat then together I put it back on the fire to finish cooking and to season further.
– I usually braise my goat meat, a slow cooking method that allows flavors to penetrate and the meat can be cooked until ridiculously tender.
– I made a quick salad of cherry and plum tomatoes and cucumbers tossed in dressing of olive oil, lime juice, thinly shallots, finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste to top the tacos.
– In Trinbago, when we’re eating any curry dish we must have the sweet and spicy condiments called Anchar to eat alongside. I re-mixed a dish normally made of green mangoes with a half-ripen pineapple.
– I used store bought corn tortillas, using the method I saw off YouTube by the Gourmet Magazine to warm them through.
3 lbs. of cleaned Goat Meat Chunks
3 heaping Tbsp. of good Green Seasoning
5 Tbsp. of Curry Powder
1 tsp of Pepper Flakes
2 Tbsp. of Sea Salt
1 Tbsp. of Black Pepper
Warm Beef Stock
3 Bay Leaves
Day one of cooking
– In a stainless steel bowl, add the washed meat, green seasoning, 3 Tbsp. curry powder, salt, black pepper and mix well. Oh! I added a splash of dark rum – for good faith J
Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for no less than two hours.
– Mix 2 Tbsp. of curry powder and 1 tsp of red pepper flakes in enough water to create a thick paste. Set aside.
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
– On the stove top, heat a medium-sized heavy bottom sauce pan. Add enough coconut oil to coat the pan and begin the sear the goat meat chunks on all sides. Once all the pieces are nicely browned, take them out of the pan. You will see burnt-on goodness in the pan you want that. “Deglaze” the pan with the curry paste, lifting and mixing all the burnt bits together. Place the goat meat back into the pan add the bay leaves and enough warm beef stock to come up to half the level of the meat. Bring to a boil, cover the sauce pan and place in the oven. Let the meat cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours.
– After three hours check the meat for doneness. Once done, take pan out of the oven. Set aside the meat from the cooking liquid to rest overnight.
Day two of cooking
– Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any bones. Skim the fat off the top of the solidified cooking liquid. Return the pan with the cooking liquid and shredded meat back on a high fire to warm the meat through and reduce the liquid. Taste to add more seasoning at this point and cook until liquid has evaporated, but the meat is still moist and juicy.