Goat barbecoa, green mole & green rice

Goat barbecoa, green mole & green rice

Chris Middleton

Barbecoa is said to have been invented in the Caribbean. In Mexico the term is used to describe the cooking process where whole animals or joints of meat are spiced then charred and cooked over an open fire, then wrapped in plant leaves and slow-cooked with hot coals under the earth for several hours. It’s like a giant slow cooker, really. This recipe highlights another staple ingredient from the Caribbean – goat. Though not used much in Western cooking, goat is a really delicious meat. It is a lean protein so the long, gentle barbecoa cooking style is perfect for a tender outcome.


Quantity Ingredient
Green rice with black cabbage, to serve
goat’s crema, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
100ml olive oil
1 x 2kg goat shoulder, cut through the bone into 5–8 cm thick pieces osso buco-style, (ask your butcher to do this for you)
200g Mexican spice blend
or mixture of 100 g ground cumin, 50 g ground cinnamon, 50 g smoked paprika
large pinch salt flakes
750ml Red mole
500ml chicken stock

Green mole

Quantity Ingredient
6 limes, zested and juiced
2 large handfuls mint leaves
1 large handful coriander leaves
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley
2 jalapenos
100ml sherry vinegar
100ml agave syrup
100g bitter chocolate


Quantity Ingredient
70g pepitas, toasted
60g sunflower seeds, toasted


  1. Ideally a wood-fired or charcoal barbecue will impart greater flavour when cooking this dish. If you have one, preheat a barbecue with a hood until the coals have a thin coating of grey ash. However if you don’t, below are instructions for how to prepare barbecoa using either a conventional oven or a stove top.
  2. If using an oven preheat to 100°C.
  3. If using the stove-top, heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat.
  4. Season the goat pieces with the spices and salt. Fry a few pieces at a time, until nicely coloured all over. Transfer to a tray and set aside.
  5. Gently heat the red mole and chicken stock together in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat until simmering. Add the goat to the pan and coat in the sauce. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting, cover and cook on the stove-top for 3 hours. Alternatively, if using the oven, cook in the pan or transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 4–5 hours until fork-tender.
  6. If wood barbecoa is your mantra, place the meat onto a large, double-layered square of foil lined with baking paper. Spoon over 350 ml of the red mole and carefully wrap up the edges to seal. (Traditionally, banana leaves are used as they impart extra flavour to the sauce.) Check the internal temperature of the barbecue – it should be around 60–100°C. Place the parcel on a rack set over the hot coals. Cover with the hood and barbecoa, moving the parcel around the cool spots of the fire from time to time, for 2 hours, or until fork-tender.
  7. Remove the tender meat from the sauce and set aside on a tray to cool slightly.
  8. Meanwhile to prepare the green mole, combine the remaining red mole braising liquid from the goat and the lime zest and juice, herbs and jalapeño in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  9. To finish the mole, simmer the vinegar and agave together in a small saucepan, until reduced to a caramel. Adjust the flavour of the mole, adding the caramel and chocolate, a little at a time, until refined to suit your personal taste. Return the mole to the pan and gently reheat.
  10. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, either leave whole or flake into equal bite-sized pieces. Add the meat to the mole and heat through.
  11. Serve the mole, green rice with black cabbage and goat’s crema alongside each other in colourful ceramic dishes. Sprinkle the mole with toasted pepitas and sunflower seeds to garnish.
Paul Wilson
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