We are savoring our last few days in Jamaica. Eating and drinking and generally being merry!

I have been on a staple diet of Red Stripe and Curried goat, so I get the bed to myself most nights!

Goats roam freely in villages and alongside roadways here. Many village residents own goats, but have no place to keep them so they put them on a tether or allow them browse freely. The goats come home at night out of habit and for a little bit of dry feed. There is a joke that goats look both ways before crossing the pedestrian walk, while cows don't budge and present a real hazard to motorists. Thievery is a big problem with goats {not with the goats stealing things obviously but with people stealing the goats!}

The native goat of Jamaica is a conglomeration of breeds, similar in look and background to the brush in America and further south. Alpines and Toggenburgs breeds were imported to the island when there was interest in dairying. Nubians were brought from England to improve meat production. In recent years, Jamaica has jumped onto the Boer goat bandwagon. They, too, recognize the potential of this “growthy” South African breed for improving meat production.


Baaad… to… the… the…Bone.
The other red meat of the English-speaking Caribbean, goat is so common that a party without this delicious, juicy, succulent meat would be a waste of time.

Your Goat meat had better taste delicious, or you will be the gossip of the community for quite a while.

Goat can be cooked in many different ways. You can stew, barbecue, roast, kebob, pot roast, etc., etc., etc. But the one popular style of cooking goat in the Caribbean for any occasion is… you guessed it… Curry Goat.

Curry Goat has been the sole meat dish at every “big dance” in Jamaica for years.

Back in the day when Curry Goat was the king of the “big dance,” you had to hire a “specialist” to cook. That person was usually a senior member of the village or town, who had notoriety, and was well recommended.

The “big dance” style of cooking was not easy to imitate, so to speak.

The “specialist” never revealed exactly what he was doing. And if anyone tried to “crowd the specialist,” that person would be kindly instructed to find something else to do.

So the Curry Goat cooking remained a guarded secret for quite some time…at least the “big dance” cooking style.

If the host makes a mistake and serve an ordinary Curry Goat too many times, there would be murmur and gossip about the cooking… to say the least.

You know how word gets around in small communities.

That’s how serious some Jamaicans are about their Curry Goat. You mess it up, and you become infamous.

Nuff said!


3 lb. Goat Meat (cut up in bite size pieces)
1 Large Onion (chopped)
2 cloves Garlic (chopped)
1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper (chopped and seeded)
4 oz. Jamaican Curry Powder
1 oz. Cooking Oil
1 oz. Ground Black Pepper
2 tbsp. Salt
4 sprig. Thyme
1/2 oz. Vinegar
6 Pimento Seeds (Allspice)


Wash the goat meat with vinegar and water. Rub in all the seasonings with the goat meat and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator and then remove the seasoning from the goat meat.

In a saucepan, heat the oil on high until it smells. Add 1 oz. curry powder to the hot oil. Stir curry powder in oil until the color starts to change.

Put the goat meat in the saucepan now. Stir the meat in the hot oil for two minutes; be careful not to burn the meat.

Add 1 oz. water to the pot, keep stirring until the meat looks like the muscles are tightening up.

Now turn down the heat to medium and add 2 cups of water to the meat in the saucepan. Cover the pot and let this stew simmer for 20 minutes. Check on the meat in the pot, stir again and add water to cover the meat.

Simmer for another 20 minutes, and then check to see if the meat is medium soft.

If it is so, add the seasoning you removed earlier to the pot. Let the stew simmer for another 15 minutes on a slightly lower heat (between medium and low).

(Optional) You can add potatoes to the pot the same time you add the seasoning. You can also add bread crumbs to thicken.

Note: Although this is a stew, it should not be dominated by watery type gravy. You should make this stew cook until most of the water is evaporated, and let the fat from the goat flavor the stew.

It takes practice and trial and error sometimes to get a perfect Curry Goat, so don’t give up on your first try.

AND FINALLY…What do you call an unemployed goat?
                                Billy Idol