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Seco de Chivo

This fragrant lamb stew is prepared by cooking the meat over low heat in an aromatic sauce, resulting in an exceptionally tender and flavorsome dish. Prized in their native Ecuador, secos have traditionally featured chicha—a fermented corn beverage once favored by the Incas. They can be made with a variety of main ingredients including goat, chicken, duck, beef or even octopus.

Seco de Chivo


Lamb Stew:

  • ¼ C (52 ml) olive oil
  • 1⅓ lb (640 g) lamb shoulder, cut in chunks
  • 2 T (18 g) garlic, chopped
  • Ground cumin and dried oregano to taste
  • Pinch salt
  • ⅔ C (180 ml) white wine, divided
  • ⅔ C (180 ml) beer, divided
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp (20 ml) canola oil
  • 1⅓ C (160 g) red onion, finely chopped
  • 1¼ C (184 g) red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut in half and sliced
  • Paprika and turmeric to taste
  • 1 lb (440 g) tomatoes, quartered
  • Seeded and chopped jalapeño to taste
  • ⅓ C plus 2 T (7 g) fresh cilantro, stems and leaves
  • ½ C (118 ml) orange juice
  • 2 T (30 g) brown sugar
  • Ground allspice to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T (4 g) fresh parsley, chopped

Tomato Rice:

  • 1 C (166 g) tomatoes, quartered
  • ⅓ C (52 g) yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 g) tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp (6 ml) olive oil
  • ⅔ C (115 g) basmati rice
  • 2 T (10 g) jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half and sliced
  • ¾ C (180 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro

Pico de Gallo:

  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 3 T (32 g) yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 T (14 g) jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • Finely chopped fresh cilantro to taste
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste


  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro


Lamb Stew: Drizzle olive oil over lamb, add garlic, cumin, oregano and salt, toss to coat, cover, chill overnight, add half the wine and half the beer to the lamb, chill at least 1 hour, drain; reserve marinade. Heat canola oil in pan over high, sear lamb on all sides, set lamb aside, reduce heat to medium, sauté onion and bell pepper 2-3 minutes, add sliced garlic, paprika and turmeric; sauté 1-2 minutes. Purée tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, remaining wine, remaining beer, orange juice, brown sugar and allspice in blender; strain through a sieve. Return lamb to pan, add tomato mixture, simmer on low 2 hours 45 minutes, add reserved marinade as needed during cooking, season with salt and pepper, remove from heat; add parsley.

Tomato Rice: Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Purée tomatoes, onion and tomato paste in food processor; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in pan over medium, sauté rice until golden and translucent, sauté jalapeño and garlic 1 minute, transfer to baking dish, add tomato mixture, stock and cilantro, cover with foil, bake 18-23 minutes.

Pico de Gallo: Combine tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro and green onion in a bowl, add lime juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper; chill 30 minutes.

Plating: Plate rice in center, ladle stew around rice, spoon pico de gallo over rice; garnish with cilantro.

  • Prep time: 32 minutes.
  • Chill time: Overnight + 1 hour.
  • Marinate time: 4 hours.
  • Cook time: 3 hours 15 minutes.
  • Makes 4 servings.