Goat Chili

I love goat meat, also known as Chevon, Cabrito, or Capretto. Lots of people do. It’s the most consumed meat and milk in the world. Americans are slow to bring it to the table, as we are with many foods.  Goat shouldn’t be a stretch for your palate. I can easily convert beef and lamb recipes. It is red and mild, without being as gamey as venison. I prefer to cook it low and slow, but have also had great success broiling a rack of goat to pink perfection in less than 15 minutes. It’s a very lean meat, with less calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than chicken, beef, pork, or lamb, with just over 5 grams of fat and 244 calories in a 6 ounce serving. But besides all that, it’s delicious. Because there isn’t a huge market for it in the states, you often find producers are family run small farms, like the one my parents have.

I’ve made this chili several times in the last year. It is authentic, as I’m of the school that believes real chili is chilies and meat. No beans and no tomatoes. Although I love those sort of soups and stews too, this is the real deal.

Goat Chili

Adapted from Goat by Weinstein and Scarbrough, my two favorite cookbook authors, save Nigella.

Serves 12


12 dried guajillo chilies
12 dried new mexico, pasilla, or ancho chilies
Boiling water
¼ cup dried oregano
½ cup dried unsweetened coconut
1 heaping tablespoon cumin
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup canola oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
4 pounds goat stew meat, cut into ½ inch pieces
5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons cornmeal


Cut the stems off the chilies. Remove the seeds and membranes if you want a milder chili. I like the heat, so I leave them in. Chop the chilies into 2-3 inch pieces.  Dry fry them in a skillet over medium high heat just until they become aromatic.

Remove the chilies from the heat, place in a bowl, and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 20 minutes.

Drain the chilies in a colander set over a bowl. Place the soaked chilies in a blender with a bit of the soaking liquid. Add the oregano, cumin, salt, garlic, and coconut. Blend to a lovely red paste. Add more soaking liquid as needed to blend to a smooth consistency.

In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil, onion, and bell peppers. Stir occasionally until the onion turns translucent, about 10 minutes.

Scrape the chile paste from the blender into a slow cooker. Add in the broth, onions, and peppers. Stir well.

Brown the meat in batches in the skillet over medium heat and add to the slow cooker. (This is lovely, but not particularly necessary. Sometimes I skip it and just add the meat directly to the sauce.)

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8, stirring occasionally. The meat will be super tender. I like to thicken it up a bit by adding the couple tablespoons of cornmeal and stirring for a couple minutes in the last hour or so before serving. Skip it if you like a thinner chili.

Serve with lime wedges and cilantro. Sometimes I serve with tortillas and cheese. Sometimes I just eat it plain from a bowl. Do what brings you pleasure, but leave leftovers. It’s even better the next day.


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