Chivo Guisado Picante (Spicy Goat Meat Stew)

Chivo Liniero (Spicy goat meat stew)

I have to admit that goat meat is not well-known, or very popular in the Western World. I am not sure what the cause might be. Perhaps goat meat does not lend itself to the type of economy of scale that is possible with beef.

In the Caribbean, however, this is not the case: goat meat is a popular choice, a special treat even. In the Dominican Republic the Northwestern region is well-known for its famous dish: Chivo guisado liniero, a spicy stew of tender and flavorful goat meat.

Chivo picante (Spicy goat meat stew)

The secret to this regional delicacy is fresh, wild oregano and flavorful and fierce Scotch bonnet peppers. Of course the local lore tells us that the goats feed from the wild oregano, seasoning themselves while they still breathe and walk. How convenient.

Chivo picante

I may be biased, but I have the nagging suspicion that the goat meat one finds outside this region is sub-par. At least in my experience. While my local supermarket is pretty good when it comes to their butcher section, in the end I had to make do with this sad-looking bony thing that I found one day perchance.

Chivo picante (Spicy goat meat stew)

So, if you want to try the original, the best stew goat in the world (I may be exaggerating, but only a bit), travel to Montecristi, home of the free-range, organic ingredients that make this dish famous throughout our country.

Aunt Clara
Chivo picante (Spicy goat meat stew)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chivo Picante or Chivo Liniero is a recipe original from the Northwest of the Dominican Republic, an area that, due to its arid terrain, has a large population of goats.
Serves: 4 generous servings
  • 4 lbs of goat meat cut into small pieces
  • 2 limes or 1 bitter orange cut into halves
  • 2 cubanela peppers
  • 2 teaspoons of mashed garlic
  • 1 teaspoons of powdered oregano
  • 1 red onion cut into quarters
  • 4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste or 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper (or 2 jalapeños) finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons of sugar
  • Salt
  1. Squeeze the juice of the limes (or bitter oranges on the meat). Scrub the meat and rinse with running water.
  2. Mix the meat, oregano, onion, garlic, cubanela peppers, oregano and a teaspoon of salt. Marinate covered in the fridge for an hour, overnight is better.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep-bottomed pot.
  4. Add the sugar.
  5. Separate the meat from the onions and peppers. Reserve the onions and peppers.
  6. When the sugar turns brown add the meat.
  7. Stir (being careful with splatters) until all the meat has a light brown color.
  8. Add ½ cup of water. Cover and simmer over medium heat.
  9. Adjust water until the meat is very tender (about 35 mins), turning every few minutes to cook uniformly.
  10. Once the meat is tender add the onions, coriander, tomato, cubanela and Scotch bonnet peppers.
  11. Cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Add tablespoons of water if it looks like it might burn.
  12. Add the tomato paste (or sauce). Mix well.
  13. Add a cup of water and simmer until liquid is reduced to a thin sauce. Add salt to taste.
  14. Serve with tostones and arroz blanco or moro de habichuelas.
With this dish you can go as spicy (or not) as you wish. Bear in mind that Scotch bonnets are insanely spicy. If you are not into spicy food I suggest that you start with a quarter of it (no seeds) and go from there.

Posted Dec 27, 2003. Updated Oct 14, 2011

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{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Chefwilson08 December 3, 2014, 12:36 AM

    hey a question I love the spicies but my wife doesn’t.. I don’t want to take away from the favors though, any advice….

    • Aunt Clara December 3, 2014, 7:53 PM

      Well, without the spices it would be pretty darn tasteless I’d say. Or do you mean she doesn’t like spicy food? In that case you can leave it out. I will still work.

  • Jeff Gonz April 2, 2014, 6:33 PM

    Hey aunt clara i come from a dominican family as well tho I was born in n.y and ive heard of people adding beer to the seasoning in order to kill the funny taste goat has.Have u heard of that?

  • albert arroyo February 6, 2014, 1:19 PM

    Nice tips for the meat. I’m Moroccan and Puerto Rican and I love goat meat , I would prefer it that way wash with lime or vinegar. Everybody has their own ways of doing things

  • Ft October 16, 2013, 3:35 AM

    Looks good

  • Leslie October 11, 2013, 6:08 PM

    You mention in step #10 to add the tomato cubanela. What is tomato cubanela?

    • Aunt Clara October 11, 2013, 7:13 PM

      There was a missing comma between tomato and cubanela, however, twice before that it mentions “cubanela pepper”, and tomato.

  • Bill September 8, 2013, 1:31 PM

    You might be tempted to become vegetarian after reading about living breathing animals seasoning their own flesh.

    • Aunt Clara September 8, 2013, 1:40 PM

      Well, they do it because it’s an abundant food. Nobody makes them eat oregano. :)

  • Tony January 17, 2013, 8:57 AM

    Hello. I just found your website while looking for a goat stew recipe. I spent a week in the Dominican Republic February 2012 and loved the goat stew that I had while there. I had prepared goat before here in the states (albeit very simply by grilling and very little because it’s hard to find in Michigan), but the stew has stuck in my mind all this time. Just a few hours ago I heard of an establishment in Chicago called “Girl and the Goat” which got me thinking once again about that stew. Anyway, thank you for the recipe and I’m hoping to prepare the dish very soon!

  • dulci October 30, 2012, 1:35 PM

    Hola tia Clara,
    Yo quiero hacer este chivo pero para 15 personas mas o menos. Me da miedo porque no he cocinado chivo para tanta gente antes. Algunas sugerencias que me pueda dar?

  • Rosa October 14, 2012, 9:23 AM

    We add a 12 oz beer for 4 lbs of goat meat. The beer takes away the goat smell and gives the meat a different twist. We are making this today with white rice and avocado!

  • Arudhi@Aboxofkitchen October 14, 2011, 4:51 PM

    Lovely pictures you have here! Oh, I love goat, I love spicy food, so yes, your spicy stew is making me want to eat my screen off! Your list of ingredients is really interesting to me since I used to eat goatmeat stew made with coconut milk and a bunch of Asian herbs and spices. Too bad I can`t find goat meat here, but maybe I`ll give it a try with lamb. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Ali October 14, 2011, 11:46 AM

    I prefer goat meat over beef and I know this would be such a delicious stew. from the pic one can tell that this is really a dish worth preparing :)

  • Chi Chi October 13, 2011, 1:21 PM

    Hi there, thank you for sharing, this recipe sounds delicious! I have a special place in my tummy for goat meat, as I lived in West Africa for a very short time as a child. Goat meat was a staple.

    I have a silly question though. What is the purpose of the lime if you wash the meat after adding the lime to it?

    • Aunt Clara October 13, 2011, 4:43 PM

      Honestly? I have no fricking idea, but every person I have seen that makes this dish assures me that without the lime bath the meat will smell funny. I have never tried to do otherwise so I will trust the collective wisdom.

    • Aunt Clara October 20, 2011, 4:28 AM

      According to local lore, goat meat is smelly unless washed with lime or sour orange. I am not sure what's with that but will be called out on it if I don't include that step. Go figure.

      • Orestes Noboa May 17, 2013, 4:51 PM

        Dominicans use lime to clean all types of meats. I think that is a practice without a clear foundation. I have used lime to cook pork (cerdo guisado) and provides a great taste. I do not wash my rice before I cook it because that does not make sense I never broke in half my spaghettis before I boiled then. I do not cook my rice with oil.

        • Gem May 5, 2014, 7:23 PM

          Yup washing meat with lime is intended to rid the meat of the bad smells.
          Washing rice is good though…even though my grandparents did it without reason..its been proven that prewashing rice, potatoes and other high starch in cold water cuts down the starch which is better for you (hence the white rinse water) :)