Ninh Binh in Vietnam is famous for its goat meat as the animals are free to roam the mountains which make the meat firm and less fatty. The goats feast on naturally grown herbs, medicinal plants and vegetables which all add to the quality of the meat.
The aromatic, homemade paste beautifully flavours the goat meat which is preferred for its tenderness.
- 2 kg goat meat, with skin and bone, cut into 4x2 cm pieces
- 1 tbsp ground galangal
- 3 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 10 fresh curry leaves
- 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- 540 ml tinned coconut cream
- rice paddy herb and steamed jasmine rice or baguette, to serve
- 6 cm piece galangal, peeled
- 3 cm piece turmeric, peeled
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 coriander roots, scrubbed
- 4 garlic cloves
- 5 dried small red chilies, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. For the curry paste, cut the galangal, turmeric and lemongrass into 1 cm pieces. Place a wok over high heat and dry fry the galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, onion, coriander root and garlic until softened, well browned and aromatic. You may need to add some water to stop the ingredients from browning too much. Remove from the wok and allow to cool. Transfer to a mortar, add the soaked and drained chillies and pound into a paste.
2. Wet the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon and peppercorns slightly with water. Add to a dry wok and fry over medium-high heat until toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder, add the salt and grind to a fine powder. Add the powder to the wet paste and mix well. Set aside until ready to use.
3. Place the goat pieces in a large saucepan with the galangal powder, 1 teaspoon each of salt and sugar and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, skimming the surface as the temperature rises. Once the water comes to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Strain and set the meat aside.
4. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over low-medium heat and gently fry the curry paste and curry leaves until fragrant, then stir in the yoghurt. Add the goat meat, stock, milk, coconut cream and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 5 teaspoons sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a very low simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes or until the goat is very tender. Serve with rice paddy herb and steamed jasmine rice or baguette.
Catch Luke Nguyen on the tracks dishing up Vietnamese fare in the brand-new series, Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam.