I’m furloughed. That means I’ve had time to explore recipes that take way longer than my usual 30-minutes-and-done dinner routine, and also to use ingredients I don’t really have any idea how to address. I saw bags of trigo mote verde (peeled green wheat) at the Latin grocery I’d been meaning to check out for some time, and bought it on a whim. When I saw the goat tidbits were on sale, an idea began to form. When I started to ponder what to cook, I noticed that the goat was not … the highest quality … and was going to need major work to taste good. I’m not one to waste food if I can avoid it, so I decided that some spice-fu should do the trick.
So, inspired by the Spanish labeling on the wheat, I decided to take a Latin direction (heavily informed by my own Caribbean leanings with respect to goat). I started with sofrito:
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 yellow bell peppers, diced
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 habanero (scotch bonnet) peppers, finely diced
- 1 tsp dried cilantro
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 2 14.5oz cans of diced tomatoes, one drained
And added the other ingredients along the way:
- 2 pounds goat meat (boneless, chopped into 1 inch cubes)
- 1 bag of trigo mote verde (peeled green wheat)
- About 5 tsp fresh grated ginger
- A handful of allspice berries
- 1 tsp each cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 pound okra (washed, but NOT CUT*)
I browned the goat briefly in a large dutch oven, then set it aside.
Next, I added all the sofrito ingredients except the tomato, and tossed over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Then I added the tomatoes and re-added the goat.
Once well mixed, I added 3 cups water, trigo mote verde, allspice, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt, and brought it all to a boil. Once boiling, I reduced the heat to simmer and covered the pot, leaving open to let some steam escape. Stirring occasionally, and sometimes tasting to adjust flavor, I let that cook about 30 minutes.
At this point I added the ginger, vinegar (I didn’t want to cook away all that sharpness), and a bit more water, and re-covered for another 15 minutes or so. At that point, things were looking close to done, so I added the okra and did some final salt/pepper adjustments.
Another 10-15 minutes saw the okra where I wanted them, nice and al dente as a textural contrast, so I turned off the heat and served my stew. Delicious, with the heat and spice and vinegar pushing the very earthy goat into a lovely flavor profile, and the long cooking keeping it nice and tender.
This recipe makes what I’d call about 10 servings, so I’ve been taking fun ways to use the leftovers too. My favorite so far: wrapped, dolma-style, in collard greens blanched in lemon juice. Enjoy!!
* Oxygen is what makes okra get all slimy. If you don’t cut it before cooking, the texture is much nicer.