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[P]
The Mexican Goat Roast

By xC0000005 in Culture
Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: Food, Animals, Animals are Food, If we weren't meant to eat animals why are they ma, How can you have any pudding if you won't eat your (all tags)
Food

In the mountains of Mexico the villagers gather and celebrate together on births, on weddings and funerals, high days and happy days. They celebrate with blue corn tortillas, mashed beans, chicken. For the main meal, however, there is the goat, Mexican roast goat. Eating it might be half the battle, with its strong gamy taste. The other half, as GI Joe knew, is knowing how it got there.


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The Mexican goat roast began early in the morning with a shovel party. A shovel party did not (sadly) involve hitting anyone with a shovel. It involved a group of men standing around, taking turns digging a pit. Two feet wide, Three to four feet long for each goat being roast, about two feet deep. The men got started early, while the señoras built a bonfire. The men got an early start because everything went slowly and when they hit a rock every man took a turn to examine it before someone finally pried it from the ground and released the crew to continue their digging. The women got an early start because they needed to stop ever few minutes to chase down the errant pig or toddler. By eleven or so the pit was dug, the fire was burning, and the goats were tied to the fence near the pit, praying for rain.

Rain would put out the fire. Rain would prevent the coal bed from forming, a coal bed of wood and ash that the men shoveled into the pit, lining it like an Indian fire walk until a wall of smoke rose from the pit. There was no rain to spare the goats that day, so one by one the men untied the goats while the señoras rebuilt the fire with fresh wood. Then the village butcher lead the goats to the fire pit one at a time. These were young goats, males, cursed by their sex to be unable to give milk (or more goats). All we needed now was the knife.

The knife was held by the wife of the butcher. She was at home, so I headed off to her house to fetch it. She was rocking in a rocking chair, a cloth covered basket in her lap, talking with her sister when I arrived. "I need the knife," I said. She stared back at me blankly. I raised my finger to my throat, making a slicing motion and she laughed. One hand reached into the basket and pulled out a chicken. Before it could struggle she swung it like a bolo and ripped the head off. The head she tossed out the window for the pigs to eat. The chicken went in a pot and she handed me a long, wide leather sheath.

Back at the roast site the butcher took the blade and pulled it out. A long, curved sickle, sharpened on the inside edge. The handle was hand carved and an obvious replacement, the blade well oiled but worn thin from years of sharpening. Grabbing the goat by the chin the butcher deftly whipped the blade around it, slicing from one shoulder clean across the neck and to the other. The goat stiffened and wet squealing noises came from the flap on its throat. The blood didn't spurt though - it just ran like water down the goats legs and pooled in the dirt. Slowly, almost gently the goat collapsed, and before it could even stop breathing the butcher was on it. Lifting the hind leg he traced a path from its anus to the chest with the blade. A flick of the wrist really, as one does with a laser pointer. See, from here - to here... and he grabbed the goat by the back. With a grunt he pulled it upright, and its intestines slipped out, landing in the dirt. With a tug on both ends he pulled the intestines loose and handed them to a young girl. His attention was back on the goat. Putting his foot on the hind leg, he ripped it upward, crunching the bone. The leg now lay limply against the goat and the process was repeated for the other hind leg.

Now the goat was ready to go into the fire. With legs folded beside it, the men lowered the goat into the fire pit. The fire sizzled and smoked as wet goat landed on it. And it was time for the next goat. And the next. Now the men were helping hold the goat up once the throat was sliced, and the butcher was free to slice open the stomach right after the throat. On some of the goats the butcher carved upward and cut out the lungs, liver and heart. Like the intestines these were handed to the children to take to their mothers. Off by the house I watched a girl squeeze the intestine from one end to another, then take it to clean at the stream.

With all the goats laid in the pit the men now took shovels to the fire and shoveled wood and coals onto the goats, the last of which was still blinking. When the wood and fire was packed the sod was laid on top of the fire pit again, making a earthen oven. The goat heads stuck up above the ground, so it looked like someone had planted goats and they were just coming up. And then we waited. For hours the meat simmered below ground, a constant cloud of grey smoke rising. The goats who had their organs cut out steamed through the mouth as their insides cooked, looking like fire breathing demons were rising from the earth.

While the meat was cooking the women cooked chickens, mashed pinto beans, and patted tortillas from the coarse blue corn. The women took fat and mashed it with peppers to make a spicy sauce hotter than the hottest jalapeno and ground nuts to make a sugar and nut dessert that was cooked in a pan above the fire, sugar turning to caramel around the nut paste. And the meal was ready. When the sod was pulled back the fires had burned down. The meat pulled away from the skin and bone as they shoveled out the goats. Roast goat tastes like roast beef, only with a wild gamy taste to it, and the smoky scent of the ash clinging to the skin. I ripped a chunk from the hind leg and sat, savoring the pungent scent and taste. This must be what it was like for our ancestors, though I doubt they dug out pits the size of garbage trucks to roast mammoths.

Normally everyone goes to bed at sundown. No electricity, no light means no reason not to. This night though we stayed long after the sun sank away. Jose brought a tallow candle and the men played dominos around it. The women talked in the darkness. The butcher was busy as well, carving the last scraps of meat from the goat heads and throwing the rest to the pigs. The next morning four new goat skulls decorated the fence posts on the way out of town. Far from being a gruesome warning, these skulls remember the weddings, the funerals, gatherings and celebrations. They are a sign that life in the village goes on. They stretch on down the road for as long as memory serves.

Thanks to Mybostinks - the meal is called Cabrito though these goats were not splayed for cooking nor "small" as the suffix suggests.

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The Mexican Goat Roast | 42 comments (33 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1 FP (3.00 / 3) (#1)
by GhostOfTiber on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 07:15:43 PM EST

Especially the part about getting all the bees lined up so you could put a saddle on them to get to Mexico.

Tell me:  What are the recipes for the organ meats in the traditional mexican goatroast?

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

Remember those intestines? (3.00 / 2) (#5)
by xC0000005 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:29:05 PM EST

The organs are washed and then minced, then boiled and put into the intestines to form a sort of sausage paste. I thought it was disgusting.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
Well, it was either that ... (3.00 / 5) (#11)
by Peahippo on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 05:42:03 AM EST

... or sections of the intestine could be cut off, tied at one end, then used as condoms for a night of wild sexxor. Men, women, children, animals -- anything biological could then be penetrated lustily yet safely in that one grandiose night, dancing lewdly like Mexi-Pans under the southern stars.

In the Third World where overpopulation is a problem, perhaps that was a better solution for "what to do with all this goat intestine". But no, no, they just made sausages out of them. Yeesh.


[ Parent ]
don't be churlish (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by livus on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 07:42:42 PM EST

how else is the third world supposed to take over your candy asses?

Replenishing numbers is pretty much the asset here.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Hmm. (3.00 / 4) (#28)
by Peahippo on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 09:07:53 PM EST

Yes, that's true. Thus, they should continue to rely on goat-intestine sausage to fortify their strength for Wet-Bacchanalia as I envisioned, and under the southern sun's shine the semen will flow like wine, where DNA's will be done, and in each uterine oven's a bun.


[ Parent ]
you're like a new Edward Lear (3.00 / 2) (#29)
by livus on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 09:10:51 PM EST

though perhaps a tad less salubrious.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Organ meats (none / 1) (#31)
by sudogeek on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 07:59:40 PM EST

Tripas, lengua, menudo, barbacoa (actually the neck strap mucles, not organs per se) and, of course, chorizo.  This story is enough to make me fly back to San Antonio.  There's a great little restauranr on Zarzomora just past Woodlawn.

There's a sucker born every minute, and you're an hour's worth.
[ Parent ]
You make my mouth water (3.00 / 3) (#2)
by mybostinks on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 07:20:45 PM EST

with memories of past cabritos. Everyone should have the experience you describe above. It enriches your life and fills the stomach.

Thanks for this!

Definitely Front Page...

Excellent!! +1FP for sure. (3.00 / 2) (#3)
by dakini on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:27:30 PM EST



" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
-1, not about bees$ (none / 1) (#4)
by V on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:55:35 PM EST


---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens
Bee Patient (none / 1) (#6)
by xC0000005 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:39:08 PM EST

Ok, I swear that's the last time I'll use a "be" pun in this comment. The bees are coming April 17th (if they are not delayed) so I'm waiting patiently.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
apparently bees are dying all over the place (none / 1) (#32)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 08:01:59 AM EST

were you a victim of this myserious ailment? or was your old tribe's demise a more mundane issue?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Every cabritos I have been to... (3.00 / 4) (#17)
by mybostinks on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 03:22:31 PM EST

are more like the one you have described, almost exactly.

The picture in the wikipedia article you will find in restaurants along the Gulf and somewhat inland.

They actually have those goat carcasses (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by dakini on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 03:26:52 PM EST

hanging in the restaurants? I think that would be neat to see.

" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
[ Parent ]
In the market, in Victoria, Mexico (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by xC0000005 on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 03:30:39 PM EST

You can walk along and pick your goat. Come back in a few hours and he'll (it's always a he - females are more valuable for milk/goatlings than meat) will be spread eagle and roasted like you see. Same for the piggies.

This little piggy made Pork Chops.
This little piggy made Ham.
This little piggy made Bacon.
This little piggy made Spam.
This little piggy went wee,wee, wee and got cut up for dog food.

Pick a pig, pickup your port an hour or so later. In one market I frequented you could dine in an area overlooking the bucher block and meat roasting and watch them prepare your meal.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]

Damn, that would be something. We dont get to (3.00 / 2) (#21)
by dakini on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 04:19:34 PM EST

do that here, only maybe pick a poor lobster out to eat. Then they are flown in from the East coast.

" May your vision be clear, your heart strong, and may you always follow your dreams."
[ Parent ]
In some very high-end steakhouses (3.00 / 2) (#22)
by localroger on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 06:53:21 PM EST

...they do the same. I am thinking of the Circus Circus steakhouse ca. 1999 where you walk in past a glass-walled cooler of carcasses, and the food prep is in a pit in the middle of the floor of the main dining area. I think it did freak some people out and their sister steakhouse at the Mandalay Bay didn't do the same thing. Too bad, because it was awesome good.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
I agree - same here. (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by xC0000005 on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 03:34:35 PM EST

Though in the city the corner vendors would do a street roast (in a barrel!) starting in the morning. If you rose early enough in the morning they'd be cutting the goats and preparing the roast. By the time we rolled out of town the meat was already hung on sticks. In the country side it's always in a pit, though I did see concrete lined roasting pits in places.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
The chicken went in the pot? (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by thankyougustad on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 07:39:01 PM EST

Full of blood and guts and shit and feathers? Nasty.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

Boiling is a common way to remove feathers. (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by xC0000005 on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 08:03:24 PM EST

A quick boil makes plucking easier.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
yeah no joke (none / 1) (#27)
by thankyougustad on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 08:19:10 PM EST

but you make it sound like the whole shebang went into the stew, or something.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
I eat a lot of goat meat (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by livus on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 07:39:17 PM EST

I like to roast a leg with coffee and peppers in winter, too, though I don't think I'd include goat in a hangi.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

That was great, thanks for sharing. $ (3.00 / 2) (#30)
by Joe Sixpack on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 12:49:37 PM EST


---
[ MONKEY STEALS THE PEACH ]

where are the whining animal right activists? (none / 1) (#33)
by circletimessquare on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 08:10:49 AM EST

when animal rights activist meets poor traditional societies and their relationship to animals and butchery, animal rights activists go POOF!

animal rights activist and their "morality" only exists in relation to rich western societies. which tells you something of how useful their thinking is to the real world. so it is with a lot of the innane ideas thought up by the spoiled pmapered rich children of the west that do not work in the real world (such as anarchism, or libertarianism)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

actually (none / 1) (#36)
by kromagg on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 05:42:09 PM EST

I think most animal rights activists have few problems with what is described above. After all the butchery was fast and relatively humane. Sure, in the richer countries we use guns (kills almost instantly) but for what was available this sounds like it's about as good as it gets. What most (sane, i.e. not the ones that burn down McD) animal rights activist object against is the way animals are treated during life. I bet these goats had a much better life than their industrial cattle industry counterparts.

[ Parent ]
The animals were "free range", (none / 1) (#37)
by xC0000005 on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 08:29:37 PM EST

so I suppose they had it ok. And the butcher was extremely skilled. It sounds easy to do but the way he laid open their throat from one side to the other had them in heart failure pretty darn quick.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
Hook me up! (none / 1) (#34)
by Noexit on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 09:46:18 AM EST

I have not had cabrito in a very, very long time. It's a very good meat, yes it's gamy but much more interesting than a chicken breast. Eating it in the context you've provided is just that much better.

funny (none / 1) (#35)
by CodeWright on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 02:13:12 PM EST

i had experiences very much like this growing up in the south pacific, but it was with pigs and the pits were lined with banana leaves and hot stones (the stones are cooked for a day in a bonefire).

this is called an umu and gives the pork an incredibly tender moist faintly banana flavored mouth watering tasty goodness.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

Now I'm hungry. (none / 1) (#39)
by xC0000005 on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 10:16:33 PM EST

That sounds so good. Really good.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
it really is tasty (none / 1) (#41)
by CodeWright on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:04:15 PM EST

add to that, it usually also includes yam, breadfruit, and kumara (sweet potato) cooked alongside the pork.

this not only gives the same banana hint to those vegetables, but adds the smoky pork broth flavor as well.

finally, such feasts usually also included wild pumpkin vine salad with coconut milk, raw sea turtle eggs (yum!), and fresh deep sea tuna steak curry.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Breadfruit FTW (none / 1) (#42)
by xC0000005 on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:10:46 PM EST

Oh, I like that stuff. Had a neighbor from the pacific rim who would make it. My wife had had it in a restaurant and swore she'd never, ever consider eating it again. Hano kept saying "You have to try this," and eventually she did. It was really, really good. I have no idea what I thought it would taste like but I have to say I'd eat it again in a heart beat if cooked by someone who knew what they were doing.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
And further South (3.00 / 2) (#38)
by Tatarigami on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 09:59:28 PM EST

Down here, a pit roast entails a layer of hot stones, then wet newspaper, then burlap sacking.  So the meat is steamed as much as it is roasted.  The best venison I've ever eaten was prepared that way.

As a child I once stood next to a hangi pit being opened.  The only other place I have felt wet heat like that was in a steel foundry.

Sounds delicious. (none / 1) (#40)
by xC0000005 on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 10:18:06 PM EST

The biggest problem with the goats cooked this way is that the ouside layers are near impossible to eat. They get overcooked. I would think the burlap would help with that.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
The Mexican Goat Roast | 42 comments (33 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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