OH MY GOATS!
Being from South Carolina, I had never heard of the word cabrito until I moved to Texas, and all of the sudden, I see it on several Mexican restaurant menus. I’m a very adventurous eater and love to try new things. My favorite way to eat meat is probably roasted and shredded so cabrito definitely fit the bill! When I saw cabrito tacos on the menu at Horseshoe Hill, Grady Spears’ new restaurant, I had to invite him to the ranch to teach me all about cabrito.
Although Grady is “The Cowboy Cook” and his restaurant is known for it’s chicken fried steaks, his tacos can be a great healthy choice! Cabrito is tender and best cooked slow roasted. It’s the leanest red meat on the market and is lower in fat than chicken but higher in protein than beef. Tacos can be super healthy and full of veggies from fresh pico de gallo and avocado. Grady’s recipe features a delicious, tangy Mexican crema and I made that healthy by substituting buttermilk and sour cream for 0% fat plain greek yogurt. Ahhh, so cooling with the spice of the goat…eh…cabrito.
Let’s be honest- cabrito does sound much more appetizing than goat tacos right?
So here is the story of looking for goat meat. The grocery store in Stephenville, TX was actually out of goat meat. My boyfriend, Ty Murray, bought his TY Ranch 21 years ago with the stipulation that the ranch manager, Heraclio, and his wife Maricela, get to stay. They are wonderful people, hard working, and treat the ranch like it is their own. They also happen to love cabrito. So Ty gives Maricela a call and asked where she gets her goat meat. Maricela tells us there is a guy down the road named Marco who sells goat.
I got very excited and asked if we could just go buy a hindquarter off of him. Well, my excitement faded when she said “Oh no, he sells a live goat.” Time to call a few meat markets. We found goat in Weatherford, TX but they couldn’t sell only a hindquarter of goat. We had to purchase a whole goat, but this goat had been chilling in the freezer for a bit, still a little less work than buying a live goat! Now why all the trouble when we could just use beef or pork especially when Ty always says “I’m a cowboy, not a chicken boy or a goat boy?”
What we want to eat is an accumulation of our experiences, the people we’ve met, the things we have learned, and where we have gone. I enjoy experiencing other cultures and food is one way to do that! So bring your sense of adventure to the table and try these cabrito tacos! They are absolutely delicious- one of the best tacos I’ve ever had.
Cabrito Tacos with Grady Spears
- 1 goat hindquarter
- 4 oz. fresh chile powder, ancho chiles
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/8 cup oregano
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 12 cloves garlic
- 2 large onions
- 6 avocados
- 1 cup pico de gallo*
- 1/2 cup queso fresco
- 1/4 cup Mexican cream*
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 18 corn tortillas
*Pico de Gallo:
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped - or more to taste
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 1/2 cups Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Place the paste ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until use.
Slather the seasoning paste all over the meat. Arrange in a large bowl (or any non-reactive container that's large enough), cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night for at least four hours. Remove from the refrigerator about two hours before preparing, to let the meat come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the cabrito in a roasting pan. Cover the pan with foil and roast five to six hours or until tender. Remove and let cool before shredding.
Pico de Gallo:
Mix red onion, jalepeno, pepper and lime juice in a bowl. Allow to stand for five minutes. Mix in roma tomatoes, cilantro, and salt; allow to stand 15 more minutes for flavors to blend.
Combine greek yogurt in small mixing bowl with lime juice and vinegar. Stir until creamy and smooth. If you prefer a looser consistency, slowly add more vinegar by teaspoon. Add salt and pepper and stir.
Divide the shredded cabrito into the tortillas and serve with avocado, pico de gallo, Mexican cream and cheese.
- 3/4 cup long grain white rice*
- 6 cups of water* (*or buy rice milk and use 6 cups. I used brown spelt rice milk from the grocery store)
- 1/2-3/4 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Soak rice in two cups very hot water for two hours. The rice should be soft but still very raw - you should be able to snap a piece in half with your fingernail without much effort. Drain and add to a blender along with the remaining four cups of water. *If you are using pre made rice milk just add six cups of the rice milk to the blender. Cover the pitted dates with hot water and soak for five to 10 minutes. Add the dates and the date water to the blender along with the cinnamon stick and vanilla. Blend on high for a minute or two. You can strain through a cheesecloth if you prefer or just drink it as is after chilling.