Cabrito is a Mexican dish made of roasted goat kid. Traditionally, the kid should be less than three weeks old and only have been fed milk in its lifetime. This is what gives the meat its mild, delicate flavor.
The goat meat may be soaked in a brine and/or seasoned with herbs and spices before roasting, although preparation varies significantly depending on the family recipe and area of Mexico. Some Mexicans also prefer not to marinate or season the goat, but simply rely on the flavors from the meat and charcoal.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Cabrito originated almost 450 years ago in Monterrey, inspired by the Jewish cuisine of the founders of the city. Its name literally translates to “little goat”. Cabrito is served at large gatherings and family events, usually with tortillas or beans and rice, and other Mexican dishes to accompany it, such as tamales and menudo.
There are several ways that the dish can be prepared; cabrito el pastor involves opening the goat and placing it on a spit, before roasting over a charcoal fire. Another popular variation is cabrito el horno which involves slowly roasting the goat meat in an oven at a low temperature to achieve a juicy, tender meat.
- Goat kid hindquarter
- Vinegar - ½ cup
- Salt - 1 tbsp
- Water - 1-2 quarts
- Pepper, to taste
- Charcoal - 8 cups, to cook with
- Tortillas and/or rice and beans, to serve (optional)
- Mix the vinegar, salt and water together in a large container.
- Place the cabrito in the container, ensure that the liquid is completely covering the meat. Marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight.
- Light the charcoal in your grill (or alternatively, heat your oven to 300℉) and allow to burn for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cabrito from the brine and add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Add the cabrito to the grill and cover with the lid for 2 to 3 hours, rotate the meat every 30 minutes to cook each side evenly.
- Cook until the outside is light brown and crispy and the meat is cooked through. The internal temperature of the meat should be 160°F.
- Remove the cabrito from the grill and cut into pieces or shred the meat.
- Serve with your choice of tortillas, rice and beans, guacamole and/or salsa.