by Rita Calvert, the Local Cook
A nice challenge came along the way when I was asked to do a chef demo at Greenbelt Farmers Market. The beauty of it was I could use any of the produce available at the market. And because I needed to showcase one of the proteins from the market for a book I'm working on, that means meat. I chose to use goat meat in order to show customers how different yet delightful it is to cook, especially the 100% pastured product. Because goat is so very lean, it does best with a very slow braise with a bit of liquid. In my case I had to adjust that for the grill.
Having had experiences with this kind of meat, I was quite sure if it was seared first at a quick high heat on the grill, which would caramelize the outside, the simmer time in the rich coconut curry stock would yield a tender dish. The same is true with the abundant mix of fall veggies.
If the recipe seems too involved at first, don't be turned off. The curry paste comes together quickly and that forms the structure of dish.
Local and Seasonal Goat and Coconut Vegetable Curry
For the curry:
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
2 mild green chiles, chopped, or to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds cubed goat meat
2 bay leaves
5 cardamom pods, green
2 (14 ounce) cans light coconut milk
1 quart (32 ounces) chicken stock
For the Vegetables:
2 cups turnips, peeled cut into and 1-inch
2 cups sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes butternut squash
2 large apples, diced
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish
Rice, for serving
In a blender or food processor combine ginger, onion, garlic, turmeric, salt, cumin, coriander and chiles until almost smooth.
In a medium bowl, coat the goat meat with half of the curry blend and refrigerate overnight.
Heat the grill to medium high heat laying a flat griddle over the grill rack. Grease lightly with the vegetable oil and then add curry coated goat meat cubes; spreading them so they don’t touch. Sear quickly on all sides to brown, remove and them place them in a Dutch oven. To this pot, add the remaining curry blend, the 2 bay leaves, cardamom pods, coconut milk and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook about 1 1/2 hours until meat is very tender.
Meanwhile add more oil to the griddle on the grill and add the vegetables. Close the lid and grill until vegetables are uniformly brown, tossing. Remove and reserve until the goat meat is tender. Now add the vegetables to the meat. Raise the heat to medium and cook another 10 minutes to warm vegetables. Stir in the apples and finish cooking for 5 minutes. Serve on rice with the garnishes on the side.