How to Make Montserrat’s National Dish Goat Water with Dr. Gregory Julius
What is now abundantly clear is that no two people make goat water the same way. However, when you have the chance to learn the secrets of one of Montserrat’s finest goat water makers then you do.
Thanks again to the Department for Community, Youth, and Sports Services for hosting the traditional cooking classes. On Tuesday night we learned how to make goat water from Dr. Gregory Julius.
Dr. Julius said that he first learned to make it by watching his grand uncle forty years ago. He also advises that it is about experimenting and practice. It takes years to perfect so keep trying.
While we set aside about two and a half hours for the class, it is possible for it to take longer to prepare depending on your fire as the pot should be bubbling and the age of your goat meat. The older it is, the longer it will take to cook and be tender enough for your guests to enjoy.
We used fresh goat meat. Do not pre-season the meat as it means that you are preparing for a stew or something else. Pre-seasoning also gives the meat another taste and doesn’t give your fresh seasonings time to absorb as you cook.
The goal is to get goat water which is neither to thick or too long. If it runs off your spoon too fast then your water is too long. Too slow then it is too thick. It should run off a wooden spoon at a moderate pace when you add flour.
For our class we used about 10lbs of goat meat. If the meat is light pink, you’ve got a young animal. The darker the meat, the older the animal was and it will take longer to cook. Clean it thoroughly, removing as much fat as you can find.
About a quarter of a goat serves about 20 people. This is equivalent to about 6 to 8 lbs of meat. A whole goat can serve between 100 to 150 people.
We used four onions, green and red peppers, season peppers, spring onions, garlic, parsley, pot herb, and thyme (which is tied together to make it easy to remove from the pot and to keep it from being stuck to the flour).
Dried seasonings used – salt, black pepper, Accent, Season All.
Question of the Night – What about cloves?
Answer – Dr Julius said cloves are the invasive species of the seasoning world and he finds it overtakes the other flavours in the goat water. So he doesn’t use cloves in his recipe. We didn’t miss it at all.
Fill a large pot about half way with water. It should completely cover your meat and include enough to accommodate evaporation. If you have to add more water later on, make sure it is boiling hot.
Once the water is bubbling, add your meat.
Prepare your green seasonings.
Check your pot and remove all of the scum/foam that rises to the surface. This will happen several times, remove as much as possible.
Allow it to boil some more than add your green seasonings.
Stir in and let boil.
Now add your dry seasonings to taste. (Consider whether your guests may be hypertensive or have allergies to certain ingredients such as MSG)
Continue to stir. Now add your browning. You don’t want it to be dark brown or light brown but a rust brown color. Adjust with water if too dark.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and water together. Check the video to see how to make it a nice consistency. Test your meat, it should bounce back between your thumb and forefinger. It it does, then it is time to add your flour and your goat water is almost ready.
Stir in and test the thickness of your goat water. Not too thin and not too thick is the right place to be.
Let it bubble a bit longer. Say another 15 to 20 minutes. Test your meat and if it is falling apart or breaks off easily, you’re good to go.
Serve and enjoy.
Remember it is super hot so don’t burn your tongue.
We enjoyed ours with some bread on the side. Other people love it with rice and ground provisions.
Let us know how you make your goat water in the comments.