Saturday, January 17, 2009

Goat - It's What's For Dinner

I have a dream! A dream of one day seeing abundant quantities of goat in the meat aisles of grocery stores all across the US. Yes readers, I said GOAT. And yes, that was a pretty pathetic shoutout to Martin Luther King Jr. Day coming up. Ahem. Let's move on, shall we?

Goat is an unappreciated, underestimated meat in most places around this country. I'm not sure how that happened, because it couldn't be a flavor issue. If you like lamb or beef, you'll love goat! And since we are a red-meat loving nation, I'm really surprised how we could let Big Billy Goat Gruff here get by unnoticed for so long. Back in India/Pakistan, goat is very readily available. As a matter of fact, you only have to take a quick trip down to bakra mundi (goat market) to see how prized they are. Uh, on second thoughts, don't go, just take my word for it - if you're even a teensy bit sensitive, the sight of hundreds of goats lined up to meet their Maker might turn you into a vegetarian. But, if you're a realist like me, you'll respect the process and put a lot of love into cooking your goat. And boyoboyoboyOBOY will it be worth it! The meat is so flavorful, not at all gamey, and extremely tender when cooked properly. If you're in the mood to do a braised meat dish, next time try it with goat, for my sake. Here and now, I'm taking a stand - it's time to appreciate the goat!

DH: *small voice* I feel unappreciated sometimes ...
Me: *looking up from my computer* What? Say that again?
DH: I said, it would be nice if I was appreciated for everything I do around here!
Me: That's crazy talk, man! I appreciate you all the time!
DH: Hmph. You might want to re-evaluate that statement.
Me: *sigh* Can we discuss this over dinner? I made one of your favorites - Tamatar Gosht (Goat Curry with Tomatoes) and chawal (rice) ... uhh, as a token of my appreciation!
DH: *rolling eyes* Look, if you think you can distract me by ... um, did you say Tamatar Gosht?! Gimme!
Me: Does this mean I'm in your good books again?
DH: Ya ya sure sure ... gimmegimmegimme!

(To self: huh. That was easy!)

Goat Curry With Tomatoes
or Tamatar Gosht

Serves 4

1.5 lbs goat meat, with bones, cut into roughly 1 or 2 inch cubes
1/4 cup canola oil

2 onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp red chilli powder / cayenne
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt
3-4 large tomatoes, chopped
2 hot green chillies, finely chopped
6-8 fresh curry leaves (kadi patha)
Chopped fresh mint for garnish (and flavor!) - but you could substitute with fresh cilantro

Did you know they were selling these beauties in my supermarket as "Ugly Tomatoes"?! I'm deeply offended! Just because they have a blemish or two makes them "ugly"? To think that even such gorgeous, sweet tomatoes like these have to go unappreciated these days ... for shame!

1. Heat up the oil on medium-high and throw in the sliced onions. Cover the pan and let them soften for a couple of mins, then stir them around for another 5 mins to prevent them from burning. You want them to caramelize to a golden color.
2. Add in the ginger and garlic, and saute them for an additional minute.
3. Put in the goat pieces, followed immediately by the salt, chilli powder and turmeric. Give it a good stir, to make sure all the goat pieces get a quick sear and are covered with the onions and spices. Then pour in a big glass of water - basically enough to cover the meat.
4. Let this mixture come to boil, then turn the heat down to medium, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and let it simmer for 30 mins.
5. After 30 mins, remove the lid, turn the heat back up to high in order to evaporate most of the liquid. You should be left with about 1/2 cup of gravy. The onions will have mostly melted away, and the meat will be tender.
6. To this, add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies and curry leaves. Stir. Then cover again and simmer on medium-low heat until the tomatoes break down and cook. This will be another 10-15 mins. Check for salt. Then turn off the heat and garnish with the mint, which takes this dish to another level of greatness!

Verdict: I luuuuuurve eating this with plain white rice, digging into it with my hands. The sauce is so tangy and fresh from the tomatoes and mint, plus the goat is so tender that it falls off the bone if I even look at it! Be sure not to trim the goat meat of all its fat, because fat is flavor, folks. And you will thank me when those tiny globules of fat melt on your tongue for the first time - oh lord, I'm flushed just thinking about it! *fanning myself*


Doppelganger said...

Hungry! Hungry for your tamater gosht! Man, I miss my Mom! She used to make this for me because I didn't really like gosht cooked with different vegetables ( you know what I'm talking about...Aloo gosht or goat with potatoes, chuqandar gosht or goat with beets, arwee gosht...hmm I don't know what Arwee is called in English!huh!). But I loved this particular gosht dish and haven't had it in almost three years. So I'm definitely trying this one out as soon as I can get my hands on some meat! Thanks so much! the picture of the meat with the red red tomatoe gravy against the white of the rice is just making me swoon!

Anonymous said...

I love goat, and especially in goat curry. I agree it is a meat that is totally under appreciated in the States. Your recipe looks fantastic, now I just have to find some meat. Thanks for sharing

Christo Gonzales said...

Holy Goats that looks great....I am a big goat lover from way, way back.....

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, adventurous as I am, I have never had goat. It sound wonderful, though, and if I ever see it anywhere, I will try. Thanks for sharing!

NKP said...

I have only had goat a couple of times, I do wonder why it is not more readily available. I only see it in the Caribbean restaurants around here.
I do love curry, yours looks delish!

Muneeba said...

You're all very welcome - goat lovers unite! ;)

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful. It's been a long time since I've had goat. I think I've got an idea of where to get goat around here. It's a pain to get to, but if they have it, it will be worth it!

Anonymous said...

Hello humans. My name is Billy and I am a goat. I'm the official spokesperson of my species and my King. It has come to my attention that the lack of my species' meat in groceries has been a topic of concern on what you humans call...The World Wide Web. We have been underappreciated for centuries and your growing love and concern has really touched our hearts. We will always ensure that we taste scrumptious everytime. Please try and not think too hard about how I am typing on a keyboard with my hooves. We have our ways.

P.S. After we together make Goat meat the ulimate meat in the world, please let's try and get the ball rolling on goat milk. I don't know about you, but I enjoy it.

Muneeba said...

Goat, I am humbled in your presence - and also strangely hungry!

Anonymous said...

Goat? Really? Hmmm, but this looks really incredible and delicious. Yeah, I'm game....

Lubna said...

Hey Muneeba,
First time on your blog and I absolutely love it, I'm hooked ;p
Tamatar gosht is my hubby's fave too and I have to prepare it ever too often!!