Goat Gypsy Stew

This lovely stew suits long, slow cooking and will be even better made one day and heated up the next. Goat loin chops are perfect for it but neck or shoulder lamb or mutton chops would be just as good. I’ve also made it with goat cutlets but these tend to be very fatty, so you need double the quantity. It`s one of those dishes where exact quantities and timings are irrelevant. What seems like a lot of garlic melts away like butter and the big chunks of carrot end up luscious beyond expectations. There are never enough. I like this with mashed potato and separately cooked peas or sprouts, adding green beans, as requested by the recipe, is the elegant take. Jacket potatoes cooked at the same time is another option.

Serves 6

Prep: 25 min

Cook: 3 hours

10 garlic cloves

6 neck or shoulder goat, mutton or lamb chops or

12 cutlets

flour for dusting

2 tbsp olive oil

10 carrots

2 X 400g cans chopped tomatoes or bottled passata

½ bottle red wine

200ml chicken stock

3 onions

200g fine green beans

2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2. Peel the garlic, leave them whole and place in a spacious, heavy-bottomed pan with a good fitting lid that can accommodate all the ingredients. Trim the chops of excessive fat. Dust with flour, shaking away the excess. Brown the chops in batches in hot oil in a frying pan. Place the chops over the garlic cloves and season with salt and pepper. Scrape and trim the carrots and cut into big, chunky pieces. Add to the pan and pour over the chopped tomatoes or passata. Season again with salt and pepper and then add the red wine and stock. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onions and add them to the pan, pushing them down under the liquid. Season for a final time. Bring the stew slowly to the boil. Cover with a piece of parchment paper, tucking it down to touch the food and catch the overhang with the lid. Trim the overhang to about 3cm. Place in the oven. After 3 hours, remove the lid and check that the onions have wilted into a soft slop and that the carrot is tender. If not, return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. When you are satisfied that the stew is done, remove it from the oven; it can sit happily, covered, for up to 30 minutes. Top and tail the beans and cook in plenty of boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and loosely stir into the stew with a garnish of parsley.