Birria tacos have positioned themselves in the last year or so as an essential dish in cities across the United States, with innumerable spots opening in New York City, Las Vegas, the Bay Area, LA, and Miami. The boom is due in large part to a number of taqueros who started using beef instead of goat — the traditional meat called for in the red-tinted, slow-cooked stew — given Americans’ widespread aversion to eating goat meat. As one study found, 78 percent of consumers in the States are familiar with goat, but only around 23 percent have tried it.
But countless other countries around the world lay claim to a dish with goat meat at its center, from Malaysia and Indonesia, where locals eat kari kambing, a revered goat curry; to Greece, where whole roasted goat is a staple; to the Mexican state of Jalisco, where birria originated; and to Trinidad, where goat roti is a culinary star of the island.
That last one in particular serves as an inspiration to Kwame Onwuachi, who has famously served dishes throughout his career that traverse his family’s roots in Nigeria, Jamaica, and Trinidad. When restaurant critic Bill Addison reviewed Onwuachi’s menu at DC’s Kith and Kin in 2018, the chef’s goat roti was the star of the review, as a dish that highlighted the chef’s Afro-Caribbean background like no other.
Today, Onwuachi — who left the DC restaurant over the summer — is playing with curry goat in various ways, like serving it over black bean hummus with toasted pita or naan. And there are plenty of Caribbean influences threaded throughout the recipe: curry powder, Scotch bonnet peppers, and recaito, a culantro-based green seasoning with garlic and green pepper. Give Onwuachi’s recipe a try below.
Curry Goat and Black Bean Hummus
For the curry goat:
1 pound goat meat
1 onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 pint recaito, found in most supermarkets and Latin markets
1 Scotch bonnet pepper
4 sprigs thyme
2 quarts chicken stock
Neutral oil like vegetable or grapeseed
For the hummus:
One 15-ounce can chickpeas
1 tablespoon tahini
One 15-ounce can black beans
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
1 bunch cilantro
Naan, pita, or other flatbread
Step 1: Start by marinating the goat in the recaito; set aside. To a heated pot or large pan add about 11⁄2 to 2 tablespoons of oil, then add the sliced onion and chopped garlic; sauté for 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add the marinated goat and curry powder and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, thyme, and Scotch bonnet pepper. Simmer until meat is tender, at least 1 hour.
Step 3: Meanwhile, make the hummus. Heat chickpeas and black beans in a pot with 1 quart water until boiling. Add beans a blender or food processor with all other ingredients except for the lemon juice. Puree until smooth and then let it cool completely before adding lemon juice.
Step 4: Once ready, remove pot with goat and reduce sauce until thick. Season with salt.
Step 5: To serve, place hummus in a small bowl and divide the goat on top. Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm bread. Enjoy!