Goat Chilli – Getting My Fix.


It’s a biting cold winter afternoon. I’m parked up in the car park of a West Dublin pub. She is late. The deal may not go down the way I had hoped. My mind is racing. “Is that the Garda (Irish police) in the blue Toyota?”  “The crew in the red van look fairly sketch”. “What if this handover goes wrong?” This is my first deal. I am nervous.


A small white refrigerated van crawls into the car park and rolls to a halt, driver’s window to driver’s window. My contact identifies herself. We both get out. The deal is going down. I’m taking one and a quarter keys (kilos to the non dealers]. I count out the notes. She checks my count. The last thing she does is give me a number to ring for future deals. Two minutes later, I am back on the motorway. The deal has gone down and I am not being followed.


I get the stash back to the ‘kitchen’. I open the pack. I’m not going to need to cut it before cooking it. My supplier delivered good product – Buying goat meat shouldn’t be such a big deal. I had just met the lovely Ami from Goat Ireland in Galway. She had diverted to meet me on a delivery trip to customers in Dublin. Goat is not that easy to get hereabouts and acting like a crim is all part of the fun, it seems. Having gone to this trouble, I wanted to do justice to the meat. A Goat Chili seemed like a good idea. It was.

Goat Chilli (1 of 11)


  • 1.25 kilos of lean goat meat, cubed.
  • 500ml of good beef / chicken or vegetable stock
  • 800 gms of best quality copped tomatoes (use whole tinned instead)
  • 6 onions
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 500ml of beer
  • 2 limes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked salt (don’t panic if you don’t have smoked)
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon of hot paprika (if you think you can handle the heat)
  • 5 kinds of dried chilli
    • Pasilla
    • Ancho
    • Chipotle
    • Mulato
    • Harbanero

Place the chillis in a bowl and add about 500ml of boiling water.

Goat Chilli

Lots of layers of flavour. The chilli mix allows you control the heat too.

Slice the onions into eights. Do likewise with the peppers, discarding the seeds and stalks. Brown the meat in a little oil, in a big casserole dish. Be warned, goat meat is very lean and you need to be sure to not burn it in this part of the process. It helps to brown it well. This provides a lovely bit of brown for the final chilli colour.

Goat Chilli (3 of 11)

The goat meat is very lean, healthy and delicious.

Remove the stalks from the chillis (much easier after they have soaked for half an hour). Make a decision on leaving the seeds in the chillis (hot) or removing them (mild, ya wuss!) before blending the chillis and their soaking water into a delightful paste.

Goat Chilli (7 of 11)

The chilli slurry has a wonderful aroma and colour.

When all the goat meat is browned, remove and reserve. Add the onions to the casserole, turn down the heat, add a splash of the beer. Cover and sweat the onions. When they are translucent add in all the other ingredients, bar the hot paprika and limes.

Goat Chilli

That’s half a litre of my best homemade beef stock. All in a good cause.

I like to add the chilli mixture last. It has such a lovely colour.

Goat Chilli (8 of 11)

Rich red-brown chilli mixture. The backbone of the dish.

Bring the dish to a gentle boil before skimming off the foam (this is most of the oil too). Place it in a 180ºC oven for a couple of hours. Remove the lid for the last thirty minutes to allow the dish concentrate. Keep an eye on it as it should not be let dry out. At this stage, taste and adjust the heat with some of the paprika. I didn’t add much as I like the other flavours to have a chance to impress. Just before serving, squeeze in the lime juice from one or both of the limes.

Goat Chilli

A delightful end result. Deeply flavoured, robust goat chilli.

We served this with cornbread. That is really easy to make and excellent with things like sun dried tomato cut through.  Here’s a link to a previous one I have done. Go lighter on the sugar if you think it’s too much. In recent times, I have halved the sugar content and the bread is better for it in my maturing opinion.

This is a truly delightful, rich, wholesome chilli. Get some goat and give it a go. You could become addicted to it.

Footnote on availability: Goat meat is healthy, tasty and a bit more available than it used to be. Paul and Ami at Goat Ireland, and a few other producers are doing a good job. We just need more demand. I know a few better butchers are starting to stock goat. This is what I want to see. That way, I won’t be reduced to doing clandestine deals in parking lots for my goat fix. 


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Latest comments
  • The suspense was ‘killing’, The ‘story’ reads great. The recipe looks and sounds ever so delectable. Methinks I have even been able to source goat – well, perhaps! Both for your and John’s dishes . . . hmm! And now you expect me to find five kinds of dried chillies in rural Australia . . . OK: so far can do ancho and chipotle . . . . in five minutes search when I should already have said my evening prayers . . . am not giving up, Conor, but oh jeez . . . . 🙂 !!

  • Great story and great chili. No beans — Richard would have approved!

  • With chipotle and ancho you have the two most important ones (smoky and earthy). Would be nice if you could also find a fruity one. And as for the goat: I challenge anyone to distinguish between lamb and goat chilli in a blind tasting…

  • What, no MI5 on your tail? 😉 Love the bit of mystery and intrigue to start this post. This recipe might even get me over my fear of goat.

  • That’s absolutely perfect for the current cold weather and personally I’d eat it in summer too!
    It’s quite ridiculous that goat is in short supply when there’s so much goats milk and cheese available. I suppose a lot of it must go for pet food due to lack of demand. It’s fairly easy to find in London at Halal butchers, but it’s absent in regular butchers and supermarkets.

      • That’s right and when the price is often higher than lamb that’s a problem.

  • If you think goat meat is hard to come by in Ireland, you should try getting hold of kangaroo. Oh wait, you did 🙂

    Have any Irish tried starting a ‘roo farm?

    Nonetheless, awesome looking recipe, and I think ‘roo will make an awesome substitute. I’ll give it a go this weekend, if I’m not too drunk :p

  • Can do the goat, can NOT find the chillis. And anyway, I am that wuss you were referring to. I shall dial the hot right down and dial up the smoked paprika, and I bet it’ll still be monster tasty 🙂

      • I’d add the milder ones if I could get them!

  • What a great use of goat meat. Love the variety of chilies and heat level!

  • With five different chilies in there I question whether one would be able to dial up the heat any more with hot paprika! 😀 Great way to lead into the recipe. I was kind of hoping the coppers would pull you over just for the fun of the story! 😉

  • Yum! Goat meat is very hard to find here in Midwest but somehow now I feel the urge to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • You know I like a good goat story, I mean recipe. The end result looks so rich and hearty. No beans? That surprises me but i suppose with so many chilies somethings goat to give! 😂🐐🙃 Cheers Conor

  • Oh Stefan: thought of Richard and his many kindnesses and fabulous teaching to me when I finally went to bed!!

  • Well, Conor _ this is a reply to Stefan’s first comment! And his two comments were replies to mine . . . . can’t you have a little talk to WP . . . 🙂 ?

  • Am putting an answer to the above down here: it would land on its bottom anyway 🙂 ! Thank you Conor for your very kind offer – much appreciated, but have found another one during the day from a Mexican store in Sydney which promises to send. Three-four out of five will do!! A golden side to this: during my endless server problems last year my address book was ‘lost’ by some techie or other – amongst many email addresses gone was yours: well, ‘back in the book’ now much to my delight ! . . . Richard: there is a monument to him in so many hearts . . . . you could not build such in stone or marble . . . . thanks again . . . .

  • Great recipe Conor, can I ask where you scored the dried chilli.

  • Conor, the utter gorgeousness of your ingredients shots are leaving me uncharacteristically emotional. Perhaps it’s just the chilli making my eyes water. Bualadh bos all the same.

  • Well, as long as you haven’t turned to robbery to get the cash for your fix … this sounds completely and utterly delicious. Love the story and the pix. Lx

  • Yesterday, the butcher was placing newly-butchered goat into the display case and I was immediately reminded of this post, Conor. Yes, this does sound wonderful. I hope to give it a try before our weather warms. That should give me at least 3 months. 🙂

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