A bowl of goat water
Goat Water Is The Flavorful Caribbean Stew You Need To Know
On the Caribbean island of Montserrat, the national dish is goat water. Derived from Irish stew, this dish is anything but watery, full of tender goat meat and plenty of spices.
In the 17th century, the island’s enslaved Africans and Irish immigrants altered local cuisine. Goat water comes from this, with "water" being the West Indian vernacular for stew.
Goat water uses a range of goat meat cuts, paired with an assortment of spices and herbs such as mace, thyme, cloves, bay leaf, and parsley. Fresh chili peppers can add heat.
Papaya and tomatoes are also included in the gravy for a brighter note. Some versions also have rum added, or even Irish whiskey as a nod to the dish's roots.
Traditionally, the stew is cooked in a pot over an open wood fire to add a smoky flavor, though today, it’s more commonly simmered down in a pressure cooker.
Cooking starts by either browning the goat meat first or simply boiling it in water. Flavorings are added, then the stew is simmered until the meat falls off the bone.
Some thicken the stew with a flour slurry, while others add potatoes or dumplings to bulk it up. The optional shot alcohol is added before serving the stew with bread and a beer.