RIDLEY ROAD: NO KIDDING
In the church of meat, The River Cottage Meat Book is The Bible and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the high priest.
The book is simply the finest book I have ever encountered on the subject of all things flesh and HFW’s recipes have proved themselves to be infallible time after time.
A few weeks ago, I was watching a food channel on TV and there was St Hugh up in Birmingham snorting up a large bowl of Curry Goat (and not Goat Curry as he kept on calling it to the annoyance of the locals ) Damn fine it looked too and, of course, he has a great recipe in the holy text.
So, when it was my turn to cook Sunday lunch this weekend, the idea of eating the spiced remains of something that once bleated was very appealing.
So, where to get Goat? Well, Ridley Road, of course. If anyone needed proof to support the UN’s recent acclamation of London as being the most ethnically diverse city on earth, they need only head to this melting pot in Dalston. Turkish butchers rub shoulders with Pakistani’s who sell fish to Chinese who sell spices to Vietnamese who are buying cloth from Africans who have their hair done in Caribbean salons. It is, quite frankly a fantastic place. Alive with noise and smells, all human life is here.
After a while wandering around, I chose a butcher, pointed to the largest looking of the legs of “mutton goat” in the display and watched in awe he quickly reduced it to bony chunks with the use of a buzz saw which blurred alarmingly near his fast moving fingers.
More stops saw me pick up some freshly ground Jamaican curry spice powder, plantains and yams before I took my life in my hands and fought my way on a bus back to London’s fashionable SOSHO.
The recipe calls for the meat to be washed in water ( and a little vinegar ) and then marinated over night in a mix of chopped onion, garlic and scotch bonnet chillies, some fresh thyme and tomatoes and two heaped tablespoons of that fragrant spice powder. The weirdest addition to the sauce is two spoonfuls of HP Brown sauce. Apparently quite authentic. So there
After leaving over night, I used a pressure cooker to get things started before slow cooking for nearly two hours. The end result was a thick stew with huge length of flavour and with the heat coming through at the end. The meat, as it should, required a little effort without being chewy.
Yams mashed with butter and some plantains fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside proved to be the perfect accompaniment to the curry particularly when all wrapped in a warm roti.
Another winner from The River Cottage.
Thank Hugh ( see what I did there?)