Seco de Chivo

This weekend I went to the Mercado Salinas and my favorite butcher to see about Chivo (goat). Joe has enjoyed Seco de Chivo at several restaurants first in Quito and then when we can find it here in Salinas. So I decided that I would try to make this goat stew. First I asked the butcher what cut of meat I needed for the Seco and then asked his wife what I needed to add to it. The list is easy enough. The first thing needed was a glass of beer –  no problem there. I just walk downstairs and ask my Amiga Margarita for a few 22 oz bottles of Pilsener.  Some to cook with and some to celebrate the goat stew!

First you take the meat and cut it up into nice size chunks. Make a marinade of the beer, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt – marinate for a minimum of 1 hour.

Remove meat from marinade and set liquid aside. Brown meat and add onions, achiote and bell pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes until onion is soft. Add tomatoes, cilantro, hot pepper, naranjilla juice, beer and balance of marinade. Add grated panela sugar and allspice. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours on very low heat.  When ready to serve add additional salt to taste and chopped cilantro. Serve over rice. Yummy….even better than lamb.

29 thoughts on “Seco de Chivo

    • I must tell you I was skeptical but I am now a believer. We had the leftovers last night and this stew was excellent. I am going to do some research and see if I can use goat for my kafka kabobs and if I can find some grape leaves I would use it for the stuffed grape leaf recipe I have. Only problem is finding it ground…my butcher does not do that and my little veggie grinder can’t handle meat.

    • Chantal – I think it tastes more like beef. I made this on Saturday afternoon and put it in the refrigerator until dinner Sunday. What amazed me was there was NO fat to skim off the top when I took it out of the frig. The taste is rich with the consistency of beef – it was actually tender. We finished it off last night and the taste was even richer. Joe read that it is leaner than beef and chicken – with less saturated fat. The entire leg was pretty small and skinny looking and I only purchased 2 lbs of stew meat but it was excellent.

    • Hi again, I agree with him, when we lived in Atlanta Joe and I would go to Buford Hwy and visit the International Farmers Market and they always had goat. I would walk right by it thinking that it must be foul tasting or smelling. I was so wrong and I am so mad at myself for not trying it back then. I don’t think the cost was anywhere near how expensive lamb was and it would have made a great stew as I found out this weekend. Because we were raised with beef, chicken and pork that is all we were exposed to and even lamb was looked down upon in my family. It has taken me a very long time to love seafood because we had so little chance to have fresh ocean seafood but I love it now.

  1. Nancy,
    I know this does not go with the current subject, but I’ve been wanting to ask you a question and I keep forgetting, so here it goes.
    I know you love spending time on your balcony, and I am sure that Ed and I will love it too. We spend so much time on ours here in South Carolina, that we call it our bonus room.
    I am wondering though: are you botherewd by mosquitoes, when you enjoy outdoors time on your balcony, or walking the Malecon?

    Thanks again!!!

    • No real problems with mosquitoes, if there is one Joe will be bitten but he sprays his ankles with Off and they leave him alone. We have never been out walking or out to dinner (outside cafe) or by the water where we have seen mosquitoes. In Puerto Lopez at dusk they would come out for around 15 minutes and then they would be gone. We do have these tiny ants that will walk the walls, we have tried every spray available and the ones on the wall die but more take their place so I guess you just learn to live with them. They really don’t bother anything else, I make sure the counters in the kitchen are cleaned after every meal and wash them again before I start a new meal. I do keep all my things in plastic containers. But I did that in Florida and Georgia as well because I would get these little mealy bugs in the flour. yuck!!!

  2. You are so right, Nancy! You made me laugh when you said you used to think it must be foul tasting or smelling. Ed says “I am not suere if I want to eat anything that has a beard”
    He’ll come around, though 🙂

  3. Hi Nancy,

    We’d been to Mercado in La Libertad but not to Mercado Salinas. Where is it in Salinas? How much is it (goat) per lb. When we were in La Libertad, tuna was $3.00 per lb. That was 10:00AM and when we came back the following day at 1:30PM, it was $2.00 per lb (maybe just to get rid of remaining stock). You mentioned naranjilla, that was our favorite drink there in Salinas.

    @ Chantal, we walked very early morning and also late in the afternoon (sometimes sat on the benches there) but we were never bitten by mosquitoes (is it maybe because we used home made body lotion made mostly of coconut oil or maybe because of the breeze?)

    • Hi Rolie- The Mercado in Salinas is almost directly behind the Barcelo about 4 blocks back – it’s a pretty big building so you should not miss it. Goat for stew meat was a bit over $2 a pound I think it was $2.30. In this recipe you can either use the juice or add in two whole fruits. I had the juice already made in the refrigerator so that is what I used.

      • Thanks Nancy! We’ll visit the that Mercado once Diana of Aquamira asks us to come for the walk thru. She emailed us yesterday that they are already putting up the walls and she will send us pictures.

  4. Hi Chantal and Nancy,
    Nancy’s goat stew does look good and the recipe is is an easy one to follow. Goat meat tends to be tough so that’s why you have to cook it for a long time: my relatives use the pressure cooker with goat all the time and it comes out nice and tender. I am from the Caribbean, and we usually prepare goat in curry, rarely stew. Personally, I am not a goat-meat lover (tend to stick with seafood, chicken, beef, and turkey, no wild meat, lamb occasionally). My wife, who is Ecuadorian, eats practically all meats (except iguana of course, which is eaten in the Caribbean).

    With respect to the mosquitoes, I can tell you that yes, they are also residents of Salinas, and they do bite as mosquitoes normally do. They are problematic a few times a year, even on a balcony. They stay low on the balcony and bite you on your feet. I really hate mosquitoes and they can easily ruin a vacation for me because I do not like to spray my skin with Off and those other chemicals. I usually spray a bit of repellent or use mosquito coils, but even with that one or two will get me. On the malecon balconies, the breeze might alleviate the problem a bit.

    • Hi Leon, I want the recipe for goat curry…the goat stew was so good I want to try new recipes. The folks around here use a wood that you can buy on the road out of Salinas or in Hippermart right in front of the fruit cooler – it smells great and is suppose to keep away the mosquitos I like to light it up just because it smells so great. We rent in an older building and all the drawers and cabinets had a musty order so I bought bags of this wood and put it in every drawer, under every sink and every cabinet in the place and it actually has taken most of the musty odor out.

  5. Pingback: Morning Update – Thursday, August 25, 2011 « South of Zero

  6. Hi Nancy-Thanks for all the info-Goat curry (Stew meat) is very commonly eaten in Indian homes all around the world-Yes goat meat is without that extra dose of saturated fat and cholestrol you get with beef-Pressure cooker is the way to go to cook the meat as it will shorten the time of cooking-There are many ways of cooking so please google it and recipes will be there in lots of Indian cooking sites- You basically use the blenderised mixture of garlic and ginger to tenderise the meat-and use of lots of Onions and tomatoes,curry powder,cumin,Cilantro,red chilly powder -these are some of the MUST ingredients used in varying proportions- Most indians do not marinate it as use of cooker and ginger-garlic paste do the work- hope this is helpful- Next time in Salinas we will cook the Indian goat curry and you will love it–Regs–Yusuf

    • Yusuf – thanks for the info, I am waiting on a Goat Curry recipe from someone who cooks it, I will try that next. I like the idea of a pressure cooker, I have not had one since moving out of the US. I will need to get one the next time I see it in Libertad, I am sure it would be so much faster. Again, Joe and I loved it and I am really excited about making it again.

  7. Got it!

    For walks on the beach or the Malecon: home made body lotion made mostly of coconut oil .

    For sitting on the balcony: mosquito coils or that nice smelling wood that Nancy buys.

    Thanks y’all 🙂

  8. Hi Nancy, I will compose a curry goat recipe from you when I visit my mother this weekend. We are expecting a major storm (Irene) here in NY by Sunday. They are forecasting it at category 2 intensity. Just came home early from work to clear out the things from around the house. Apparently you purchased the Palo Santo wood for the mosquitoes. Nice fragrant smoke compared to the mosquito coils. I bought some in April this year from the guys on the street. If your cabinets are musty, check for water seepage somewhere, usually from the roof or from the sink. Had a similar problem several years ago and it was from the kitchen sink. Have a geat weekend!

  9. Hi Nancy,

    Did not have to visit my mother to get the recipes for Caribbean Style Curry Goat. The experts have already put it on the Web. Here are two sites:


    The You-tube video for above

    Another similar method

    **Note: The key to the taste is the type of curry that you use. Curries have many varieties and mixes, just like coffee. The Caribbean curry is what I recommend. See the red pepper in the picture. That is Scotch Bonnet pepper: blistering hot!

    • Leon, thanks I am going to copy this — my only problem is getting curry besides the yellow stuff they sell here. I did have someone bring me green curry paste from the US but I do not think that would work with this. I may need to improvise a bit.

      • Nancy, I know that finding good curry will be a challenge to find in Ecuador. I am inclined to think that you might have a better chance in finding something close to it in Guayaquil, especially from an Asian grocery store. But here is another idea: I can send the curry for you through Delgado Travel and you can pick it up in Libertad. It will take about 2 weeks to get there and they will call you when it arrives. You may send me an email at and we will make the arrangements.

        • Leon, thank you for your advise. Joe and I are planning a trip up to Guayaquil within the next two weeks. I will see what we can find while there. As to sending stuff through Dolgado Travel I would like to hear more about that. Email me at if you can give me more details about what Delgado offers. Thanks again, N

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