They say legends are born in October, and few would deny that the Chicago Cubs have become sporting legends after winning their first World Series in 108 years. If you add that long lean spell to Cleveland’s own fruitless search for glory, you’ll find that the teams went into the 2016 World Series with a combined 176 years of hurt. This being baseball, there’s a superstitious aspect to the whole thing: in this case, a renowned “curse” that long prevented this year’s victors tasting glory.
The last time the Chicago Cubs played in a World Series was in 1945 against the Detroit Tigers, and the last time they won the title was 1908. That means it’s been over century since the Cubs have been World Series champs. At least a few fans out there are convinced it was partly because of the infamous “Curse of the Billy Goat”, which originated in game four of the 1945 World Series when a man named Billy Sianis was told his goat, Murphy, wasn’t welcome at Wrigley Field. In one version of events, Sianis angrily said: “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more,” and that was all it took.
Attempts to break the curse included fans bringing a goat to games to stop a losing streak, a Greek Orthodox priest spraying holy water around the Cubs dugout, and a few ill-advised strategies involving a severed goat’s head. There’s even a charity called Reverse the Curse that gifts families in developing countries with goats to help them get out of poverty.
But it’s all over now. Indeed, the Cubs won the National League pennant this year on the 46th anniversary of Billy Sianis’ death; a coincidence that seemed to suggest the writing was on the wall.
So what better way to celebrate the end of sport’s longest wait (and most revered legend) than whipping up a delicious goat curry? Whether you’re delighted for the Cubs or not, it’s been a landmark series for baseball – and this recipe is always a winner.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 9 garlic clove
- 3.5 oz ginger, chopped
- ½ cup vegetable oil or ghee
- 2 chillies, chopped
- small handful of curry leaves, chopped
- 4 tbsp garam masala
- 1.5 lb goat shoulder, diced
- 14.5 oz can chopped tomato
- 1 ½ cup beef stock
- 14.5 oz can pinto or kidney beans
- juice ½ lemon
- small bunch cilantro, chopped
- Warmed roti/flatbread and rice
- Put onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blend into a puree. Heat vegetable oil in a large casserole dish, add onion mixture and cook for approximately 5 minutes until softened. Add the chillies, curry leaves, thyme, curry powder and 2 tsp of salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant
- Brown goat meat in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped tomatoes and beef/lamb stock. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, cooking for 10 minutes. Reduce heat, cover and leave to simmer for 2 ½ hours – don’t forget to remove the lid for the last 30 minutes.
- Add beans to cook through and more chillies depending on how spicy you want it. Simmer for 5 more minutes and remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and coriander, and stir well. Serve with warmed roti, rice, and extended highlights of that historic game in Cleveland.
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