Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Two snows and it's not even winter!

We can have some bad winter weather here in northwest Mississippi, but snow in November and early December is almost unheard of. Two snows is unprecedented. Our first snow in November was just a good dusting, about a half-inch accumulation. But on Dec. 7 we had more than two inches.  I know that's not even worth mentioning in some parts of the country, but that's a big snow for this early. If we get snow, it's usually in January or February.

There's not enough shed space for all the goats so I just keep them locked out. I didn't buy them any hay this year so it took them a little while to figure out they had to scratch through the snow to find some grass. The snow melted over the next two days and the goats made it just fine.

The goats head out into the snow looking for something to eat.

ECR Rusty, who will turn 10 years old on Feb. 12,
seemed to enjoy playing in the snow.

Cooking a holiday goat

For Thanksgiving this year I decided to cook a goat. I prepare goat meat several times a year, usually at family gatherings so that folks can get a "taste" of what we do here on the farm. I had been planning this for awhile, so I had a young wether that had never been dewormed or medicated. 

I slaughter similar to the traditional Halal manner. I use a  well sharpened knife to make a swift, deep incision that cuts the front of the throat, the carotid artery, wind pipe and jugular veins. I also say a brief prayer that seems to calm me and the goat. The goats never jump or cry, and quickly bleed out and are ready for processing. I then use a chain and pulley and an antique singletree to hang the carcass for skinning.

I won't go into the details of skinning a goat and removing the offal. The best advice I can offer is just do it if you want to try slaughtering a goat on your own. I grew up on this farm where each year we slaughtered hogs and cattle, so I had a pretty good working knowledge of the slaughtering process. Believe me, goats are a whole lot easier to process than hogs or cattle. 

I've got the carcass hanging and ready to skin.
Grandson Rylan washes the carcass before we cut it up.
This is the pile of meat we ended up with, about
15 pounds of bone-in meat.

With the meat from this small goat, I prepared two dishes. The easiest was a simple roast. I took the two hindquarters, rubbed them with salt and pepper, put them into a roasting pan with plenty of water and a chopped up onion, and let it bake for about 4 hours at 200 degrees. The meat is tender and retains the unique goat flavor. Folks ask me what goat tastes like. To me it doesn't taste like pork, beef or lamb. It has it's own flavor. I tell people it tastes like goat!

The rest of the goat I put into a large stew pot and prepared to make curry. This included the front legs, the neck, back and even the ribs. I used a meat cleaver to break the front leg bones so that the marrow could melt out and add flavor to the broth. At the bottom of this post is a "real" recipe for making curry. Here is the way I did it:

Into the pot with the meat and bones I put 4 Tbs of curry powder, 1 tsp. of cumin, 1 Tbs of Jamaican Allspice, 1 chopped onion, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp. black pepper and 1 tsp salt. I covered the meat with water and let it boil for about 3 hours, adding water as needed to keep the meat covered.

Once the meat began to fall off the bones, I drained off the broth into a separate container. I then deboned the meat, salvaging every morsel I could off the leg bones, back bones and even stripping out the small rib bones. I chopped the larger pieces of meat into bite-size cubes. (This is also the time I'm continuously taste-testing the spicy meat!)

Because this dish was being prepared for a family gathering, I wanted it to be easy to serve. I made a pot of rice and to this I added the chopped curry meat and added some of the broth for more flavor. One of the most important ingredients for "real" curry is a Scotch bonnet pepper. These hot peppers add the flame and a unique flavor to the curry recipe. I didn't have access to this pepper, so I added a Tbs of Nuclear Hell Hot Sauce, the hottest stuff in our kitchen. 

The curry was served in a large casserole dish and the roasted goat was served sliced on a platter with a bottle of Corky's Barbecue Sauce on the side. The two dishes looked quite nice there next to the turkey and ham, and tasted pretty good, too.

Curry Goat

Recipe courtesy Gregory Jolliff
Show: The Best OfEpisode: Tropical Drinks
ed 5 stars out of 5

Total Time:

6 servings


  • 2 pounds goat meat (or lamb) without bones
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper (any color), seeded and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (dry pimento berries)
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 whole scallions, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
  • 7 cups water


Rinse goat meat well, rub lime juice over it (from 1/2 whole lime), place meat in a bowl, then add salt, black pepper, Scotch bonnet, thyme, allspice, curry powder, scallions, onion and garlic. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, longer would be ideal. Heat the oil in a skillet until it is very hot, and saute the meat until golden brown. Then add the marinade, tomatoes and coconut milk, if using, and simmer for approximately 3 more minutes. Add water, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 2 to 3 hours stirring occasionally until meat is tender.