Mexican Jalisco Style Goat Stew

mexican goat stew with fresh cilantroAlso called Goat Birria in some recipes.

We adapted this recipe from one in Saveur magazine.  Their recipe may have a stronger pepper flavor, which I think might be excellent.  I was a bit short on time and the right peppers to make the pepper sauce element so adapted based on what was in our spice drawer.  We also added beans and potatoes to make it more of a full stew instead of a soupish/stew served with tortillas.  Both of them offer a stew that is lighter than most, due in large part to the tomatillos.


  • Bone-in goat meat – Remnants of 2 goat loin roasts worked great, could also use bone in stew or shoulder chopsgoat loin bones after tenderloin is cut off
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 quart of pureed tomatillos
  • 2-3 T Fat – ideally lard or roasted pork fat, but poultry fat would work too
  • 2-3 teaspoons crushed pepper (aleppo, ancho or whatever you have; chili powder would also work)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 inch piece of ginger (or ginger powder), chopped
  • Salt, to taste (more if starting with raw meat, less if your roast had some) we did 1-2 t coarse
  • 1 1/2 cups of stock (our gelatinous trotter broth was awesome, but any good stock/broth will be good)
  • 1-2 lbs potatoes, chopped into bite size pieces
  • beans, cooked (optional)
  • fresh cilantro for topping if available


Melt fat in a dutch oven or soup pot – something big enough to hold the entire stew and that has a good cover.  Chop onion and chop or press garlic and saute in the fat.  Once they are nicely soft add the pepper, cumin and cinnamon.  Stir briefly to toast, then add the cider vinegar, oregano, ginger, salt and tomatillos.  Stir.

Add the stock and the goat meat.  If you are starting with raw meat, best to brown it first either with the onions or in another pan.  Ideally if it is bone-in meat, the meat is mostly submerged in the liquids.  Cover and simmer.  In total, ideally 1.5 to 2 hours depending on what kind of meat and size you are using.  Check and stir periodically, rotating meat if necessary.

goat loin bones cooking in birria stock


After about an hour or so, add the potatoes.  Keep cooking until the potatoes are tender, 30-40 minutes depending on size.   Once meat seems to be easily coming off the bone and near when potatoes are done, take meat & bones out.   Place on a cutting board and let cool a few moments.   While meat is cooling, taste the broth and make any additions you desire.  Add beans if using so they heat through.  Leave stew simmering.

Cut/pull meat off of the bones and/or shred.  Add meat back to the stew.  Stir and then serve with chopped cilantro on top.

mexican goat stew