In this week's issue, Ron Bechtol examined the legacy of cabrito in San Antonio. Here is his sure fire recipe for succulent, smoked goat:
Brine (this was enough for both a slab of ribs and a hindquarter):
- 1 gallon water
- ¾ cup kosher salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- Onion (at least one-half, chopped)
- Garlic (three or four cloves, smashed)
- Bay leaves (four or five)
Add the salt and sugar to the water and stir to dissolve, add remaining ingredients and stir some more. Place goat in double garbage bags, pour in brine, place on a tray, and put in refrigerator for 24 hours. (I did about 20 hours, rotating the parts once.) Take goat out of bag, pat dry with paper towels and let air dry for an hour or so. Meanwhile, make rub.
- ¼ cup (or more to taste) coriander seed toasted and ground
- 2 tablespoons cumin seed toasted and ground
- 1/3 cup (or more to taste) dried chile (I used guajillo, pasilla and ancho—but have your way with it)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (this was my addition, so it’s optional)
- 3 tablespoons sugar (I did a little more)
Rub goat all over with the mixture, packing it on as best you can. Put back in refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours (I did about 18.)
Ready the smoker. (We used pecan chunks and Lone Star beer in a pan to create a wet environment.) Start low and slow, then raise temperature to 300 degrees or so, continuing to smoke until internal temperature of meat reaches 160. The ribs took about five hours, the meatier hindquarter six. Let sit 30 minutes before carving or gnawing.
We served this with tortillas, a salsa roja, and a salad composed of corn smoked along with the cabrito for about an hour (you could also grill it), grape tomatoes, red onion, cubed cucumber, torn basil and mint, feta in large crumbles, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Best. Cabrito. Ever.
If I do say so.