So in our progressive, contemporary, and unconventional living arrangement, I cook on Mondays and Wednesdays, B cooks on Thursdays and Sundays, T cooks on Tuesdays and Fridays or Saturdays and we fend for ourselves on the day leftover. Last night, I cooked goat curry and thought that folks might enjoy the recipe, age-old and a family-classic. My table-mates have also tired of my fun-facts (or "obsession" as they call it--whatever.) regarding moose, so I'll tell you all a little bit about goats below. And from now on, Mondays and Wednesdays will feature recipes for the foodies among you.
1-2 lbs. goat (shoulder chops or ribs)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 2-inch stick of cinnamon
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. chili powder
1.5 cups yoghurt
1 tbsp. garam masala
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. ginger, minced
Marinate the goat in the yoghurt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili powder, and salt for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oil in some frying oil, and when the oil starts spitting, add the peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves. Add the onions and tomatoes and fry the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are browned. Now add the goat pieces and garam masala and fry it all up for about another 10 minutes, until the goat is browned on all sides. Pour the entire mixture in a slow cooker, and add water until the chops are just slightly covered. Cook it for 6 hours on the high setting, or 8 hours on the slow setting. Serve with basmati rice and raita.
Goat is now my favorite meat, no questions asked. Low cholesterol, low fat, tender, etc. But when I was growing up, all I knew about goats was what I saw in cartoons--namely, goats were sort of slow, dopey, junkyard-scavenging creatures with appetites for everything from tin cans to rotten vegetables. As I grew older, I learned that goats are actually incredibly intelligent, clean and picky animals; the only reason they got typecast as garbage-prowlers was their rabid curiosity--they'll nibble on buttons and bottles to figure out what they are, but they'll stop there. On the other hand, they do eat their own placenta (look out for future posts on this topic), but that's survival instinct in order to evade predators attracted to the birth-smell of vulnerable prey. Still seems pretty smart to me.
The myth of a goat's ravenous appetite reared its inaccurate head once again in the children's story, The Pet Goat, in 1997. The story became infamous when President Bush continued reading it to a classroom of elementary school children in Sarasota, Florida even after he'd been told by his CoS that the second plane had crashed into the WTC on September 11, 2001. I'm not interested in getting into a discussion over whether Bush was wrong to continue the classroom-reading while the rest of the country was shutting down in fear. What's more interesting, and pretty much left undiscussed, is the irony of the plot in this particular children's story. The story is about a young girl's pet goat who eats everything in its path, to the point where her father thinks the goat is literally going to eat the family out of house and home. The father is ready to expel his young daughter's companion, breaking her blessed heart, when the goat foils a robbery by horn-butting the burglar. Thankful, the father changes his tune and welcomes the goat into their home.
The moral of the story? If the father had acted on his first, harsh impressions of the goat, the long term interest of the family would have gone to shit. Or profiling clouds our understanding of the true character of individuals and we should avoid it at all costs. Hell, maybe even that, in the family's time of need, it wasn't an overly vigilant Neighborhood Watch that foiled the burglary, but help came from where it was least expected. Maybe Bush kept on reading the story, instead of leaping to lead the country, because he was curious as a goat to see how the story ended.