Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hamstering the Goat

Since I've moved to Germany, I have been made aware of the traits of animals. Raccoons, known to me as "nocturnal garbage eaters", are here viewed as hygienic because they wash their food. They are even literally called "wash bears" (I know - they aren't bears). Hamsters go out, find food and store it for later. The word "hamster" is even a verb in German, referring to the act of hoarding. Stores in North America normally buy a surplus of stock & sell the excess at reduced prices (think Boxing Day, or post-Christmas shopping specials). Stores here do not buy excess inventory - when they're sold out of Christmas decorations by Dec 6th, all the better for them, not extra stock to get rid of. Being the product of classical conditioning that I am, I have learned to buy things when I see them - I have learned to hamster.

I went to the goat farm a few weeks ago & scored huge with the goat ribs. Because baby goat is seasonal, I went back & got more. When it was time to actually cook my goat, I tried to call my mom to ask her how to make a curry. Somehow, whenever I actually need to talk to my mom, I get the machine. At least she's normally home when I just want to talk.

In spite of having watched my mom cook for decades, I haven't really learned all that much from her. I know how to wash meat in lemon, I know that spices should be toasted - I even learned how to grind cumin. I know, in theory, how to cook a curry. I just have no idea how to do it in practice. I do know that thyme is a mysterious part of Carribean cooking, just as cinnamon is a mysterious part of Greek cooking (did I just let the cat out of the bag?). With that knowledge & with a bit of backup spices from Thailand, I set to work.

Kid Goat Curry for the Pseudo- Carribean Kid
600 g kid goat
lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp ghee (clarifed butter)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp corriander
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp Thai curry paste
1/4 red wine
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

Wash goat in lemon water, rub with garlic, salt & pepper. Place in a Zip-loc bag & allow to marinate in the fridge for 2 - 8 hours.

In a large pot, melt ghee, & toast spices, add paste & stir. Add meat, wine, bay & thyme, allow to simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes.

I wanted to call my mom to ask her how to make Roti, but I've seen her do it - it involves a lot of rolling. The time she tried to teach me, I got bored & left. Of course, now I regret having let that lesson of my personal cultural heritage slip away. At the time, I was more concerned about how much my arms hurt. Next time I'm home, I guess. And I'll let my mom make her curry (chicken or shrimp - not beef!) and I'll try to take notes. But I know she cheats too. I saw a jar of Thai chili paste in the fridge last time.


Cathy said...

See, I did not know about thyme in Carribean cooking - good to know. I tend to "hamster" too - even though I live in Canada where we over stock things all the time. I find usually if I see something I like, by the time I get around to going back to get it later it's hard to find.

Jessica604 said...

lol Thanks for the lesson in German terminology. There are words in Cantonese that translate strangely to English too.

Would love to make goat curry at home! I just have to find out where to buy it. :)

Núria said...

I loved this post!!! You learned to hamster :D... Great expresion! Also, I loved the recipe; true we don't pay much attention to our moms but they are always there ;D.

Want to see the omelet roundup?

taste traveller said...

Cathy: I know that a lot of stores are going that way. It encourages spontaneous shopping. Thyme: my mom always grows some in her garden. Even in Ontario winters, she has fresh thyme.

Jessica: Goat is hard to find, but I hear rumours that it's getting more popular. I'd love to hear some of the bizarre translations!

Núria: I saw your post for Mother's Day - you're right - moms are great. Even if they can sometimes be a little difficult, they're great. :-)

Ham, ham, ham, ham, ham!!!

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