Warm Your Winter Day with Goat Water

Goat Water is a slow-cooked stew made with goat meat. Being the national dish of Montserrat, it is a direct reflection of the island’s African and Irish ancestries. The estimated preparation time of the dish is 30 minutes and the cooking time is 2 hours and 30 minutes. It goes best with sourdough bread.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

1 lemon, juiced
1 kg goat meat, cut into 5cm chunks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp brown sugar or molasses
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp pimento
2 tsp ground mace
A few thyme sprigs, plus more to serve
1/2 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and crushed
1 Scotch bonnet chili, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped into 1½cm chunks
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp gravy browning
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp rum (optional)
1-2 tsp plain flour or cornflour


Step 1

First, mix the lemon juice into a large bowl of water. Rinse the goat meat in the lemon water and drain. Then pat the goat meat dry with kitchen paper and set aside.

Step 2

Next heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish set over medium-high heat. Then stir in the sugar and cook for a few minutes until golden and caramelized. Add the goat meat and cook until browned all over. Add 1-liter water, the spices, and thyme, and bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Meanwhile blend the garlic, scotch bonnet, celery, peppers, and onions in a food processor to make a coarse paste. Add it to the meat along with the gravy browning and bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 2-2½ hours until the meat is very tender.

Step 3

Finally, combine the cornflour with 50 ml water and add to the pan. Simmer for another 10 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of single cream. Then stir in the rum. Serve hot with more thyme scattered over and bread on the side.