Filey fed my addiction. I wanted it all the time, needed it like the air we breathe, could never tire of it! I just needed to have that look on my face, that look of misery and hunger, whatever that looked like. But I remember our conversations as if it was yesterday. My sisters and I spent a great deal of time at Filey's garage. We were there during the summer holidays and in the evenings after school. On any given day when that look clouded my face, there he was asking "What wrong?" I replied "I'm hungry" His response, "What do you want to eat?" I want curry goat was always my response. His response was always ''Bob, come here, go to Johnson's and buy Ann a curry for lunch" When I remember those moments it warms my heart and I feel his love. You see, Filey was my dad. Much of my earlier memories of him revolved around food. Even some of my childhood friends would recount stories of some of our food escapades with my dad.
Memories of the best Jamaican curried goat!
I have had a love affair with all things curried since I was ‘yea high’ especially Jamaican curry goat. I love the smell of it cooking especially over a wood fire in a kerosene tin or on a coal stove. Many Jamaicans can relate to that memory and those of us who grew up on the island knows how hard it is to replicate the flavor of any food that is cooked over a coal or wood fire. The right amount of smoke coupled with the local seasoning produces a flavor that if I could bottle and sell would make me incredibly rich (lol). The complexity of the flavors of a good curry with just the right amount of pepper will leave you wanting more. A friend of mind once told me that my curry goat had a ‘moorish’ taste i.e. the more she ate it the more she wanted more 🙂 Need I say more?
All I can say is I have it really bad. I literally can eat this once a day, every day. I have worked my entire life to perfect my curry goat and the look on people’s face lets me know that I have hit my mark. However homage is paid to all the other versions of curries from other nationalities; I have tried most and I adore Indian curry dishes and some Thai curries but bar no other my all time favorite is a true Jamaican curry goat. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I look forward to our exchange.
All Things Considered… Tips for making the best Jamaican curried goat you’ll ever eat!
- Get a good quality curry powder; I use Betapac Curry powder and mix in a little indian curry. “Truth be told I get a special blend of indian curry from Jamaica” However if you cannot find a good quality indian curry you can mix two different types of curry powder. Another good substitute is Blue Mountain Curry Powder. So this is a tried and true method. To increase the complexity of the flavor, mix two distinct brands and you will get a unique flavor. The ratio is normally 2.1 with Betapac being the dominant brand. if you are making this for the first time, don’t be intimidated. Experiment with just one brand and then the second time that you make it try mixing it up.
- Do not skimp on the fresh garlic, onions, thyme, spring onions, scotch bonnet pepper. These herbs make up the depth of flavor.
- Use a good dutch pot or a heavy base sauce pot.
- We grew up using MSG in Jamaica. It just makes the food taste better. However most people do not cook with it anymore for health reason or the bad press that it has received for many years. I still use it sparingly in my curry dishes from time to time but I deliberately left it out of the ingredients list as you will still end up with a delicious stew.
- Read recipe carefully before you start cooking. The process while intricate will provide the best result. Lets be frank; there are many short cuts to making curried goat but no other method will give you this result except cooking it on a coal stove:)
- Pay attention to browning curry powder in the oil and onion mixture. You don’t want to burn it. The flavor from the curry powder is released as it hits the oil so turn once or twice and get ready to add the meat to the pot.
- Stir to ensure that the meat is coated in the curry mixture. Increase the flame to medium, cover for 3 minutes, stir again and reduce flame to low. Patience is key; resist all temptation to disturb meat. It may seem like forever, but this is the process where meat will start releasing its juices. While it may appear that there is none and that meat will burn, don’t worry, it will release enough juice to stew in for an hour! I swear on the few things that I own lol.
- Once it is stewing in its own juice, say 45 minutes or so this is the time you taste and adjust for flavor. The gravy will give you an indication of what your sauce will taste like when its cooked.
- After an 1 to 1 1/2 hour you will add boiling water to cover meat, and increase the flame between medium and low. This will stew meat and leave you with a rich delicious sauce when its cooked.