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Getting my goat

February 10, 2010

It can safely be said that Grafton isn’t known as a culinary destination. Since moving here from Sydney I have pined for my favourite shopping destinations: AC Butchery, my local Italian grocery, Haberfield IGA, Fratelli Fresh and David Jones Food Hall just to name few. Oh, how I took ye for granted.

Despite this, while up the country I may no longer be able to pop in to DJs on the way home from work for some Marble Score 9 Wagyu or a slab of Roquefort, I have happily discovered that the lush countryside is home to countless producers, from small market gardeners to big suppliers. And while much of this produce probably goes straight to DJs, with some effort, there are many spoils to be had.

Last week at the weekly farmers’ market, the Booma Boers goat stud stall piqued my curiosity so I picked up a kilo of diced meat. The Booma stud is located near Dorrigo, one of my favourite parts of the world, so I was fairly confident that the meat would be rather delicious. After doing some preliminary research, I also discovered that, like the hippies who populate the Dorrigo area, the goat meat is lean and full of nutrients thanks to a steady diet of leafy greens.

Before...

After!

Recalling fond memories of a goat curry at the Nepalese Kitchen in Surry Hills, I decided once again to consult the doyenne of Asian cuisine, Charmaine Solomon, and settled on a Malaysian dish. After all, there’s nothing more cathartic than bashing away with a mortar and pestle.

Malaysian Goat Curry

750g goat
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
1/2 cup tamarind liquid (soak walnut-sized piece of tamarind pulp in 1/2 cup water for 5 mins, then strain, discarding pulp and retaining liquid)
2 large onions, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp each ground cumin and turmeric
1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg and black pepper
1/4 tsp each ground cloves and cardamom
4 candle or macadamia nuts
4-8 large dried red chillies or to taste
1 stalk lemon grass
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp salt

Be Prepared

Cut goat into small cubes. Brown the coconut in a dry frying pan, stirring constantly over medium-low heat for 4 or 5 minutes or until it is a rich golden brown colour.

Blend tamarind liquid and onions in a food processor to a smooth, thick liquid. Add garlic and ginger and blend again. Add spices, candle nuts, dried chillies and coconut. Blend until smooth and well combined. Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry the blended mixture for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Pasty!

Add meat and fry, stirring well so that each piece is coated with spices. Add tomato and fry for a further 4 minutes. Add coconut milk, salt and lemongrass and bring slowly to the boil. Reduce heat to very low and simmer, uncovered, until meat is tender, stirring now and then and adding extra water if necessary.

Charmaine suggests cooking the curry for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but I found that at this point the meat was about as appetising as a stewed boot, a rather distressing state of affairs after 3 hours of prep. As a helpful Twitterer suggested however, ‘just keep on cooking that mo-fo’. After following this advice, the meat was melty in the mouth at the 2 1/2 hour mark. Phew. This also provided ample time for the complex flavours of the sauce to develop. I served the curry with some of my eggplant pickle, steamed basmati rice and coriander from the garden.

Get in my belly...

The Explodys all agreed that the meat had a richer flavour than lamb and a texture similar to shin beef. Would I prepare goat again? If I had the time and inclination, why yes, yes I would. In comparison to the cuts of meat I usually use for curries, such as lamb forequarter and neck, the meat is far leaner and therefore healthier and with less wastage. Also, at $15 a kilo, it’s pretty economical. Most importantly, there’s no substitute for knowing exactly where your dinner came from, and that it lived a happy and healthy life. Delicious.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Jen permalink
    February 10, 2010 22:17

    Leafy greens, hehe! Great post!

  2. February 10, 2010 22:18

    That curry looks maaaaaaa-gic! If the weather ever cools down (this weekend? Please?) I’ll have a crack at this.

  3. Boom permalink
    February 10, 2010 22:26

    Best photo of a goat ever! Soo happy to be curry! Yes!

  4. Le Petite Lapin. permalink
    February 10, 2010 22:27

    Was the above goat the actual slain and digested? Or is he an example? Also what is the intelligence of a goat?

  5. February 10, 2010 22:49

    Hi there, I followed your tweet here – fantastic looking curry. I’m ex-Malaysian and goat (usually called mutton even though it’s not) curry is one dish I really, really miss. Haven’t even attempted to look for goat in Oz, but now I’m motivated . Cheers πŸ™‚

  6. Bron permalink
    February 10, 2010 23:56

    Oh golly, YUM!

  7. February 11, 2010 00:57

    Another great post. Loved bit about hippies.How is Limpy today?

    • felixexplody permalink*
      February 11, 2010 07:38

      Maggie! Limpy hasn’t materialised yet this morning, I’ll say hi to him for you when he shows up πŸ™‚

  8. felixexplody permalink*
    February 11, 2010 07:38

    Jen, Boom and Bron: Thanks!

    Injera: Funnily enough it’s during hot and humid weather that I really crave spicy curries. Perhaps it’s so I can pretend that I’m in more exotic climes…

    Lapin: Unfortunately I wasn’t able to procure a picture of the goat(s) I ate. I know nothing of the intelligence of goats, are you able to enlighten me?

    Shaz: I was interested to read in Charmaine’s book the various meats which are referred to as ‘mutton’. I love the richness of Malaysian curries. If you’re based in Sydney I can recommend a couple of places to check out!

  9. February 11, 2010 07:46

    Now that is food porn. Looks delish.

  10. February 11, 2010 08:01

    You’re in the know girl. Goat Curry. I once saw a TV doc about some old West Indies guys living in London. They said anyone who calls it curried goat is so wrong.

    It looks delicious.

  11. Emma permalink
    February 11, 2010 12:00

    Yum. The butcher up the road was advertising goat the other day, so now I’m tempted. Love the masterchef presentation too — it seems plates must have corners these days.

    Sure beats changing hyphens to en-dashes and vice versa.

  12. February 11, 2010 12:50

    I know this isn’t the regular type of blog I post at, but HOW GOOD IS GOAT? Great post btw

  13. pommiefoodie permalink
    February 11, 2010 13:49

    looky nicey (before and after!). I’m expecting to be up on goats fairly soon because I have ordered a book on small holding (from the lovely free delivery to Oz book depository). One day….

  14. felixexplody permalink*
    February 12, 2010 10:55

    cosmicjester, barbara and Critical Masculinities: thanks very much! It was quite tasty I must say.

    Emma: you should definitely give goat a try if you’ve got a spare afternoon to cook it! Personally I think square plates are so 2007 but they look nice for plating up a curry I reckon. πŸ˜‰

    pommiefoodie: I have been checking out the real estate pages and there are loads of small acreages with river frontages and whathaveyou around here, tempting! πŸ™‚

  15. February 12, 2010 15:57

    oh, so delicious darling Felix…can’t wait for you to make me some!

  16. March 20, 2010 10:02

    Before/After shot cracked me up. Before shot is so cute too, but After shot is so delicious. Conundrum!

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