Our culinary journey takes us to the beautiful islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, two separate but closely connected gems in the Caribbean. With their small size and rich cultural heritage, these islands have an intriguing story to tell. Today, we delve into the traditional dish of the region – Goat Water Stew. Join us as we uncover the secrets of this hearty and flavorful delicacy.
An Introduction to Goat Water Stew
Goat water stew holds a special place in the hearts of many Caribbean islands, known for its satisfying and robust flavors. This delightful dish is often regarded as a complete meal in itself, loved by locals and visitors alike. It’s even rumored to possess certain ahem, “potency and vitality” for men. In fact, there’s a reggae classic dedicated to it! So let’s dive into the world of Goat Water Stew and discover its unique appeal.
Sourcing the Ingredients
Before we embark on our culinary adventure, let’s gather the necessary ingredients. The key to a delicious goat water stew lies in tender goat meat. Luckily, goat meat is widely available, as it’s one of the most consumed meats globally. You can find it in many grocery stores, particularly those catering to Halal cuisine. Aim for around 4 lbs (1.8kg) of meat to serve 6-8 people.
Aside from the meat, we’ll need green papaya and breadfruit. While these may be a bit harder to find, Asian grocery stores often stock green papayas, or you can always use red papaya as a substitute. Breadfruit, a starchy fruit with a bread-like flavor, can be a bit more elusive. If you can’t find it, doubling up on the papaya will work just fine.
Pressure Cook the Goat Meat
Now let’s start cooking! Begin by browning the goat meat in a pressure cooker. Use a fat that can withstand high heat without smoking. Once the meat is browned, add 1.5-2 quarts/liters of homemade chicken or beef stock and 1 teaspoon of salt. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven will do the job. Simmer the meat for about 2 hours until it’s wonderfully tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients. You’ll need 1 tablespoon of gravy browning, which you can easily make at home by browning sugar and adding water. Additional ingredients include diced papaya, sautéed onions, a bouquet garni of thyme, parsley, and bay leaves, hot Thai chilies, and diced tomatoes. Add all these ingredients to the pot.
To thicken the stew, mix 1.5 tablespoons of flour with an equal part of cold water and 1 tablespoon of cooled gravy browning. Combine well and add it to the pot. For some extra indulgence, whip up quick dumplings by mixing flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and buttermilk. Drop bite-sized pieces of dumplings directly into the stew.
Now it’s time to let the flavors meld together. If you’re using a pressure cooker, bring it back to high heat for 20-30 minutes. If you’re using a Dutch oven, give it 45 minutes to an hour. Once cooked, remove the bouquet garni, adjust the salt to your taste, and serve the stew with rice or crusty bread. And don’t forget to pair it with your favorite Caribbean beverage!
Tasting and Lessons Learned
A bowl of Goat Water Stew is a hearty and flavorful experience, capturing the essence of the islands. The goat meat becomes incredibly tender and mild, without any gamey flavors. The addition of papaya brings a delightful touch of sweetness, while the Thai chilies add a soft heat that balances the richness of the dish. For an extra oaky and fruity dimension, consider adding a splash of rum, inspired by the famous Drunken Goat dish.
Exploring the Joys of Pressure Cooking and Cleaning
If you don’t own a pressure cooker, it’s worth considering investing in one. Not only does it save time in the kitchen, but it also offers versatility in cooking various dishes. Cleaning a pressure cooker is a breeze, especially if you use Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW), a safe and efficient cleaning agent. Soaking your pressure cooker with PBW overnight will leave it sparkling clean and ready for your next culinary adventure.
Goat Water Stew is a true taste of St. Kitts and Nevis, showcasing the richness and flavors of the Caribbean. Give this hearty dish a try and let us know what you think! For more delicious recipes and culinary inspiration, visit BDK Restaurant.