This Caribbean goat stew goes a little outside of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I took the trip. After all, trying new things is really the point of all this cooking and blogging. With the onset of Fall, I’m deep in comfort food mode, making soups, stews and chowders, which remind me of living up North. Living in downtown Miami, we see a lot of Caribbean influences in the cuisine (and it still feels like summer). Just a few minutes from my home, you can get authentic Haitian goat stew, Cuban whole fried snapper and Jamaican callaloo.
The organic farm I purchase my meats and dairy from offers goat stew meat by the pound, so I decided to try some, stewed in rich Caribbean flavors like allspice, scotch bonnet peppers and Indian curry. The resulting stew is complex and delicious. The goat was very tender and flavorful. More flavorful than beef and free from any gamy flavor.
Curried goat is typically served with white rice (you need it with the heat of the peppers). I added lots of stew vegetables we are familiar with, like carrots, celery and potatoes. Because it was so spicy, I couldn’t share this dish with the baby, but between my husband and me, the leftovers disappeared fast. If you are able to find goat meat in your local grocery or a specialty market, I highly recommend it. It’s low in saturated fat and delicious. We will definitely be enjoying this dish again soon.
Note: I used boneless goat meat for this recipe, but it also works with chunks on the bone (probably better!). Use 4-5 pounds of bone-in meat.
Yield: 6 servings
Season the goat meat with salt and pepper and pat dry. Using a heavy skillet, brown the goat (in batches) in olive oil over medium heat. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add onions and ginger to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, scotch bonnet pepper (if using), curry powder, bay leaf, allspice and cinnamon. Cook and stir another 5-10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, stock and water (or wine) to the pan. Return the goat meat to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40 minutes on low heat.
After 40 minutes, add the potatoes and tomatoes. Cook for an additional 30 minutes. Taste for seasonings and heat. Add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Once a month we make a pilgrimage to Proper Sausages, Miami’s premier artisan sausage maker and butcher shop. Their handmade sausages are far from typical, with ingredients like New Zealand lamb, cognac and chanterelles. I usually just stock up on my favorite sausages, but this time I spotted some amazing Berkshire pork rib chops. These bone-in beauties were over an inch thick and beautifully marbled. Berkshire pork comes from a heritage breed of English black pig (from Berkshire, of course). Incredibly juicy and flavorful, this pork is part of the reason those Proper Sausages are so good.
Every now and then I splurge on some expensive, but hard to find grocery items. I would rather buy something a little pricey in the store and cook it up myself then go out and spend a fortune at a restaurant. We put on a movie, get cozy on the couch with the baby and enjoy a luxurious meal. Sure, it’s nice to get dressed up and go out, but when you have to schedule a sitter and have an early curfew; it makes going out a bit of a hassle.
Besides the sausages I keep on hand in the freezer, I usually don’t cook pork, mainly because it’s impossible to find organic, farm-raised pork in the supermarket. Because of the exceptional quality, I gave these chops a try, pairing them with creamy goat cheese polenta, grilled fennel and a sautéed apple. I was careful not to overcook them, browning them in a sauté pan before finishing them off in the oven. They came out perfectly juicy and incredibly flavorful — truly the best pork chop my husband and I have tasted.
These are cooked very simply, letting the quality of the meat stand out.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F., and allow pork chops to come to room temperature. Pat dry and generously season the chops on all sides with smoked salt and pepper. Heat the oil on medium-high heat in an oven proof pan large enough to fit both chops. Add the chops to the pan and cook about 2 minutes on each side until brown. Place the pan with the chops in the oven for about 10 minutes until cooked through. Remove the chops from the pan and cover to keep warm.
You can use the pan drippings to make a sauce if you like (I didn't, but saved them for another meal). Just add about half a teaspoon of flour to the pan and your liquid of choice. This could be ½ a cup of cider, wine or stock. Stir in some seasonings like orange zest or peppercorns if you like. Once thickened and bubbly, season with salt and pepper for a delicious sauce.
Serving Size: 4
In a heavy saucepan, bring water, milk, and salt to a boil. Slowly add the polenta while stirring. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent the polenta from sticking to the bottom or clumping. When the polenta is thick and creamy, remove from heat. Stir in butter, pepper and crumbled goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts. Taste for seasoning and serve.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Trim and clean fennel and cut into thick slices or quarters. Arrange on a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil and drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat with your hands. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until the fennel is cooked and slightly brown.
Serving Size: 2
Heat oil and butter in a pan over medium-high heat until bubbly. Season apples with salt. Cover and cook on the cut side only until nicely browned. This will take about 5 minutes.
Sauteed apple recipe Inspired by Real Simple magazine’s pork chops with sauteed Granny Smith apples