Recipe courtesy of Maria Lopez

Seco de Cabrito

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Achiote Oil: 

1 tablespoon whole achiote seeds

1/2 cup olive oil


2 green bell peppers, roughly chopped

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 white onion, roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon achiote powder

1/2 tablespoon turmeric

1 cup long-grain rice

2 cups chicken stock, heated

Seco de Cabrito:

5 pounds goat shoulder, cubed

1 tablespoon cumin

3 cloves garlic, smashed

One 20-ounce bottle pale lager beer

3 tablespoons achiote powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. For the achiote oil: Heat the oil and achiote seeds in a saute pan over low heat for 5 minutes. Strain the oil and let cool. Set aside 3 tablespoons for the refrito, and reserve the remaining oil for another use.
  2. For the refrito: Place the peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and onions in a food processor and pulse until blended. Add in 3 tablespoons of the achiote oil and season the mixture with salt and black pepper. Stir everything together and chill until needed. Set aside 1 1/2 cups, and then reserve the rest for another use.
  3. For the arroz: Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup refrito, achiote powder and turmeric and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rice until evenly coated with the refrito mixture. Stir in the hot chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and continue to cook the rice for 20 minutes. Chill the rice before serving.
  4. For the seco de cabrito: Place the goat in a large bowl. Make a paste with the cumin and garlic in a small bowl, and then rub this paste evenly through the goat meat. Add 1/4 cup of the refrito to the bowl and coat the meat evenly with it. Add the goat meat to a pressure cooker over high heat and cook with the lid off for 10 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup refrito and the beer. Reduce the heat to low and cook with the pressure cooker lid on for 30 minutes. Release the pressure from the cooker. Make a paste with the achiote powder and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Stir the paste into the meat. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the lemon juice, vinegar and cilantro and serve immediately with arroz amarillo.

Cook’s Note

Olive can be substituted for the achiote oil in the refrito.