Shuwa - (Omani whole roast goat)
~Chef Perry Perkins~
Goat may not be the first thing that comes to mind, when you think about La Caja China cooking, but remember...for much of the world, goat is THE red meat. Not just because it’s what available, but because it’s delicious!
Shuwa is a traditional Omani delicacy prepared only on very special occasions. Whole villages participate in the cooking of the dish which consists of a whole cow or goat slow roasted on a spit.
35-40lb goat, skinned
8 oz dried red chilies, coarsely ground
2 oz ground coriander
4 cups fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 lb chopped garlic
2 oz ground turmeric
2 oz ground cumin
4 cups date vinegar*
4-6 banana leaves
2 cups sweet cream butter, melted
½ cup date vinegar
2 cups light olive oil
*Date vinegar can be found in Middle Eastern markets. You may substitute with balsamic vinegar for similar results.
Mix all of the above spices, rub into the meat, inside and out, and marinate overnight.
Remove from marinate and let come to room temp, salting all sides of the goat well with sea salt. Soak the banana leaves in warm water for several hours. Set your Caja rotisserie to roast about 18” over hot coals.
Affix the goat to your spit, wiring the forelegs and hind legs to the rod. Stuff the cavity with the soaked banana leaves.
Wire the goat cavity shut by sewing from one end to the other with one long piece of wire. Twist each end of the wire with pliers to secure it.
Heat your baste ingredients, and whisk until emulsified. Keep warm.
Light about 30 pounds of charcoal. When ashed over, place your goat on the rotisserie, and rake the coals into 2 low, wide piles under the hams and shoulders.
Connect the wired thermometer probe into the thickest part of the ham (rear leg), be careful not to touch the bone.
It takes 4-5 hours to thoroughly cook the goat. Add a few pounds of charcoal, and soaked mesquite wood chunks, to each pile when the old coals begin to burn low, about every hour, letting the charcoal ignite naturally. You want a fairly steady smoke for at least the first 3 hours.
Baste every 30-45 minutes.
You’ll know the goat is done if juices run clear when a knife stuck into any meaty part. Meat should also shred easily and the skin should be crackling and beautifully browned. (185- 195 on the thermometer)
Remove goat from the heat, and let rest 30 minutes. Then slice the meat, in large sections, from the goat. Move these pieces to a cutting board, and slice thinly, against the grain.
Spread meat on top of Omani rice and serve immediately.
As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”
You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at ChefPerryPerkins.com