For the first part of our lives curry was a powder, during college it became a euphemism for a cheap meal of Indian food. Only in the last decade living in NYC did we begin to learn its true place in the food world. Spanning a multitude of cultures and continents, a dish of Curry is vegetables, meat and/or seafood, cooked in a spiced, gravy sauce and often served with rice.

Within a few weeks of meeting our friend Anura at work, we were asking her for a recipe for the Curry Goat she remembered growing up with in Trinidad. While she was good enough to procure the recipe from her Mom, we never did use it. Goat is often bony and annoying to eat, not good bony in a spare rib kinda of way.

Out recently in Queens we had occasion to buy some goat, and determined to make it easy to eat we came up with the following recipe for Trinidadian Curried Goat. The recipe involves a bunch of steps and a lot of time, but Anura approved of the result and you should feel free to take liberties to adapt it to your style and constraints. Should you be unable to locate some ingredients, some suggested substitutes are listed in order of preference.

Buy some Goat with the highest meat to bone ratio you can and have it broken down by the butcher into medium-large pieces, six inches or so. Bring to room tempature; trim off any silver skin and salt all over.

Sear 4 pounds of Goat on all sides over medium-high heat until browned with enough vegetable oil, clarified butter, or ghee to keep from sticking. Remove to plate when done.

Add the following to the remaining fat, adding more as necessary:
2 onion, chopped fine
4 mild peppers, chopped fine – Hungarian wax, Caribbean seasoning, jalapeño, or 1 large green pepper, seeds and stems removed
1-3 very hot peppers, chopped very fine – Scotch Bonnet, Habenero, Serrano

Once the above is very soft, but not too browned add the following and cook 2 minutes:
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ tablespoons freshly grated ginger and juice from grating
2 tablespoons freshly ground coriander
1 tablespoon turmeric
1½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin

Place Goat back in the pot and add 2-4 cups goat, beef or chicken stock to bring liquid about ½ of the way up the meat. Slow cook the Goat any way you would like from here, braise in a dutch oven over light simmer for 2 hours, slow cook in a crock pot, or oven roast at 200 degrees overnight. Whatever method you choose, try to turn the meat over about halfway through the cooking process.

Goat can be made in advance up to this point, and actually tastes better if made at least a day ahead and refrigerated in the cooking pot.

If prepared ahead and refrigerated, scrape off the fat that will congeal on the top of the pot, and then warm over low heat. Remove the Goat and strain the warmed cooking liquid pressing the vegetable solids against the strainer forcing some through. Strip the cooked Goat meat from the bones and return the bones to the pot with the cooking liquid.

Simmer bones in the cooking liquid until reduced appreciably, with just enough liquid to coat the meat and not be soupy at all. While the reduction is happening, shred the Goat meat to forkful sizes and make a pot of your favorite rice.

To serve, strain the bones, and return the reduced sauce to the pot over medium heat. Stir in ¼ cup coconut milk – or about a 5:1 ratio sauce to coconut milk. Taste sauce, adjusting for salt as necessary, add meat, warm through and serve over the rice.

Serves 4-6