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Birria de Chivo: A Flavorful Mexican Goat Stew

Birria de Chivo is a cherished and iconic dish in Mexican cuisine, particularly popular in the regions of Jalisco and Michoacán. It is renowned for its rich and complex flavors, making it a staple at celebrations and special occasions.

Birria de Chivo is a stew made primarily from goat meat, which is marinated and slow-cooked in a flavorful broth infused with a blend of dried chilies, spices, and aromatics.

The goat meat is often marinated for hours or even overnight, allowing the spices and seasonings to penetrate the meat deeply, resulting in tender and succulent bites. The stewing process further enhances the flavors, as the meat becomes infused with the rich and aromatic broth, resulting in a dish that is both hearty and satisfying.

Birria de Chivo is traditionally served with accompaniments such as corn tortillas, diced onions, cilantro, lime wedges, and a side of consommé, the flavorful broth in which the meat is cooked. It is not only a delicious meal but also a symbol of Mexican culinary heritage, representing the artistry and tradition of slow-cooked dishes passed down through generations.

Estimated Duration

Allow yourself to savor the slow-cooked goodness of Birria de Chivo with a preparation and cooking time of approximately 3 to 4 hours. This ensures that the goat meat becomes tender and absorbs the flavors of the aromatic spices.

Nutrition Facts

Birria de Chivo offers a unique blend of protein, vitamins, and minerals from the goat meat, accompanied by the nutritional benefits of the flavorful broth. This dish is a wholesome choice for those looking to explore the culinary richness of Mexican stews.

Equipment Required

Before diving into the preparation of Birria de Chivo, ensure you have the following equipment:


Gather these traditional and aromatic ingredients for an authentic Birria de Chivo experience:

For the Marinade:

Additional Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 pounds goat meat, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups beef or goat broth
  • Corn tortillas, lime wedges, chopped onion, and cilantro for serving


  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a skillet over medium heat, toast the dried chilies for a few seconds on each side until fragrant. Place them in a bowl and cover with hot water. Allow them to soak for 15-20 minutes. In a blender or food processor, combine the soaked chilies, chopped onion, garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, ground cinnamon, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth.
  2. Marinate the Goat Meat: Place the chunks of goat meat in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the meat, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Sear the Meat (Optional): In a skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Sear the marinated goat meat until browned on all sides. This step adds depth to the flavor but can be skipped if preferred.
  4. Cook the Stew: In a large stew pot or Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Sauté sliced onions until translucent, then add minced garlic and cook until aromatic. Add the seared (or raw) goat meat, bay leaves, and the marinade. Pour in the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Simmer and Tenderize: Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until the goat meat is tender and falls off the bone. Stir occasionally and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Dish out the Birria de Chivo into bowls. Serve with warm corn tortillas, lime wedges, chopped onion, and cilantro. Enjoy the flavorful goodness of this traditional Mexican goat stew.

Tips and Advice

  • Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or fewer dried chilies.
  • Use a mix of cuts for the goat meat, including bone-in pieces for added flavor.

Enjoy with these Side Dishes

Birria de Chivo is traditionally served with warm corn tortillas, lime wedges, chopped onion, and fresh cilantro. Consider pairing it with Mexican rice or a side of refried beans for a complete meal.

Storage Options

Store any leftover Birria de Chivo in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The flavors tend to deepen, making it even more delicious the next day.

Ingredient Substitutes

If goat meat is challenging to find, you can use lamb or beef as a substitute. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the meat choice.

Popular Alternatives to this Dish

Explore more Mexican stews and soups like Pozole, Menudo, or Caldo Azteca for a diverse and delightful experience. Each dish showcases the rich tapestry of Mexican flavors and culinary expertise.