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Peanut Butter & Jelly . . . Goat?

Fall is, among other things, the beginning of braising and stewing season. It’s a time for hearty dishes that warm both you and your house. But even though the calendar says it’s already fall, we’ve probably still got a handful of warm days left. A spicy stew like this Jamaican-inspired goat stew is a perfect way to bridge the seasons.

I first came up with this recipe after buying a pound of goat meat from Marin Sun Farms at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market on a lark. I started searching on-line for recipes for goat stew, goat curry, Jamaican goat, etc. Then I wrote this up based on everything I’d read. The balance of the heat from the habañero and the cayenne with the creaminess from the yogurt and peanut butter is perfect.

Goat Stew
- serves 4 -

For marinade:

1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. corriander
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. cloves (or 10 whole cloves)
1 tsp. allspice
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1/2 C. Greek yogurt

1 lb. goat stew meat*

2 Tbsp. butter
1 large red onion, diced
2 large carrots diced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 habañero pepper, seeds removed
3 oz. (1/2 of of 6 oz. can) tomato paste
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
2 C chicken stock
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. Greek yogurt

1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients to form a paste. Add the meat and stir to coat evenly. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. It may be necessary to do this in batches. Remove the meat and set aside.

3. Add the carrots, onion, and salt to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook until slightly soft, but not browned, about 7-8 minutes.

4. Add the habañero pepper, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes. Stir into the carrots and onions and cook for about a minute.

5. Turn the heat up to high. Add chicken stock and browned meat. Bring the stew to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer.

6. After about 10 minutes, remove the habañero.

7. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.

8. Stir in the peanut butter, flour, and remaining Greek yogurt. Simmer for about five minutes to thicken.

Serve over rice.

* Not sure where to get goat meat? I’ve tried this with chicken breast meat and chicken thigh meat, and both work, but the red meat is better. If you can’t get goat meat, try lamb.

If you’re in San Francisco, start with Marin Sun Farms at the Ferry Building on Saturdays. On one occasion when we wanted to make this but didn’t have goat on hand (imagine that), I called around. Whole Foods Potrero and Falettis sounded like they thought I was nuts. Bryan’s in Laurel Heights said they didn’t stock goat meat, but could get me a whole goat with two weeks notice. When I called Bi-Rite Market, the woman I spoke with said they were out of it, and she was bummed, and asked if I knew of anywhere else to get it! If you can’t make it to the Ferry Building on a Saturday, I’d start by calling the stores on the Marin Sun Farms Places to Buy list.

The Chronicle hopped on the goat bandwagon over a year ago: Fresh goat meat finding favor on upscale menus. They even include a list of places to buy goat in the Bay Area. In addition to Bi-Rite, they suggest Café Rouge in Berkeley, a great source of specialty meats, and a handful of farmers’ markets and halal butchers.

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