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Southwestern Cabrito

Monday, 26 May 2008


Traditionally served at Easter time, cabrito (young goat or kid) is sometimes smoked in a pit in the ground, but this recipe is far easier. To find kid, ask an independent butcher or locate a goat ranch in your area. There really is no substitute except, of course, a young sheep.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
New Mexico Red
Main Course
6 to 8
  • ½ cabrito, cut into quarters

  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut into slivers

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

  • ½ cup New Mexico red chile powder, Chimayo preferred

  • 1/8 cup Mexican oregano, crumbled

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 onions, quartered

  • 6 New Mexican dried red chile pods, seeds and stems removed, cut in half

  • 1 cup dry red wine, or more if needed

  • 1 cup water, or more if needed


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Using a knife, cut slits in the membrane covering the meat and insert the garlic slivers. In a bowl, combine the cumin seeds, chile powder, salt, and pepper and mix well. Rub the meat thoroughly with this mixture. Place the meat in a large roasting pan and surround it with the onion quarters and chile pods. Add the wine and water, cover tightly, and bake for about 5 hours, or until the meat is tender, checking on it every hour or so to make sure the liquid has not evaporated. If it gets low, add more wine and water. When done, remove the meat and onions to a glass bowl and keep it warm in the oven. To make a chile gravy, remove the fat from the remaining liquid and puree the liquid with the chile pods in a blender. Transfer this mixture to a saucepan and add about 1/8 cup of flour mixed into1/4 cup water heat and mix well with a spoon until a thick gravy forms, adding more water if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, carve the meat in thin slices (it will probably be falling off the bones anyway) and serve with the onions, topped with the chile gravy.


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