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Cabrito al pastor is the perfect blend of Jewish and Mexican influences

October 3, 2018

Cabrito al pastor is often served with steamed goat’s head and machito (innards tied up in tripe)

Scraping gray strips of flesh off a kid’s skull on a recent trip to Torreón in northern Mexico, I was a little apprehensive about my first bite. Next to the head sat a ball of organs tied together with guts that glistened with fat.

But I’ve long since learned that in Mexico, it’s worth trying everything. Besides,cabrito al pastor, a spit-roasted baby goat dish not to be confused with pork tacos al pastor, is the source of great pride here in the state of Coahuila and neighboring Nuevo León.

Cabrito al pastor is one of northern Mexico’s most iconic dishes

Like tacos al pastor—a much loved Mexican take on shawarma, which Lebanese immigrants introduced to the central city of Puebla in the 20th century—cabrito al pastor is the product of Mexico’s Mestizo identity and the glorious fusion of indigenous flavors with European and Middle Eastern ingredients and influences.
My first taste came in La Majada, a local institution known for serving the best cabrito in the arid, industrial city of Torreón. Tucking into a generous plate of tender shoulder meat and crispy skin, I was immediately struck by how much gamier the flavor was than the goat birria I’ve grown to love down in Guadalajara.

Cabrito al pastor was a style popularized by Sephardi Jewish shepherds who settled in northern Mexico

The next morning I went back to meet Federico Chávez, the head chef who has worked at La Majada for 34 years. He tells me they sell 35 to 40 goats per week, with each one serving seven people…
Click here to read this article in full at Munchies
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