Paletilla de Cabrito con Alubias Blancas

paletilla de cabrito

Paletilla de Cabrito con Alubias Blancas (goat shoulder with white beans) is a very common Southern European dish, interchangeable with lamb and cooked with the leg or shoulder. In France L’Agneau aux Haricots Blancs is often served for Sunday lunch with a mirepoix in the beans. In Italy (and Provence) goat is likely to be cooked with fenel and a touch of lemon, while in Greece, it may come with a honey and pomegranite glaze. In Spain goat and lamb are more often roasted on a bed of potatoes or cooked together in a stew. Wanting French crossed with Spanish, I thought of Moorish flavours avec les haricots blancs (with the white beans).

For the uninitiated, kid goat tastes almost identical to lamb and the older ones are similar to mutton. There was no goaty smell to my shoulder and if you consume goats milk and cheese (which can have a strong taste and odour), you should think about eating the meat because it’s the unneeded young male offspring which end up in the butcher’s shop. If that doesn’t convince you, do try the recipe with lamb! Goat is particularly suited to long slow cooking in order to make it tender, where connective tissues (collagen) break over time and turn to gelatin.  Lamb should be tender to start with and can be roasted in an hour or so, in order to be served pink.

Receta de Paletilla de Cabrito con Alubias Blancas (serves 4):

The Meat:
1 kid goat shoulder (about 1.5 kg)
1 head garlic
several branches rosemary

The Adobo rub:
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon Pimentón de la Vera picante
1/2 teaspoon Pimentón de la Vera dulce
a large pinch coarse sea salt
10 black peppercorns
2 dessertspoons extra virgin olive oil

Las Alubias Blancas:
1 large Spanish onion (chopped)
1 head garlic (peeled)
1 large carrot (chopped)
1 glass dry white wine
300g dried navy/haricot beans
a handful Santa tomatoes (or similar)
a handful Kalamata olives
a dessertspoon chopped coriander (cilantro)
2 bay leaves
2 large squirts anchovy paste
a dessertspoon plain flour
a splash of red wine vinegar
half a pint of home made goat/lamb/chicken stock


Stud the goat with garlic and rosemary – cut and poke 25 or so (in total) pieces each into either side.

aceite, comino y pimentón

Grind up some cumin seeds (warmed first) with black pepper and sea salt, then mix with pimentón and olive oil to make a thin paste.


Rub the mixture all over the goat and refridgerate for a couple of hours. Allow the shoulder to come to room temperature before cooking.

cebolla y zanahoria

Sofreir (poach) the onion and when it become soft add the carrot.

cabrito en la cacerola

Put the goat shoulder on top and pour a glass of white wine over it.


Allow the alcohol to burn off for 5 minutes then cover with 2 sheets baking paper and put the lid on the casserole. If using an oven dish, cover the parchment with two layers of thick foil.

dos horas

Remove to a preheated oven at 225ºC. Immediately turn the heat down to 140ºC. Braise for 2 hours.

judías blancas

In the meantime, soak the beans for 1 hour in boiling water, then cook for 8 minutes in a pressure cooker – or soak overnight …and of course you can buy tins of cooked beans. Butter or Cannellini beans would also be good in this dish.

alubias, aceitunas, cilantro y tomates

When 2 hours have elapsed, remove the goat and stir in a dessertspoon of flour (to thicken), followed by half a pint of stock. Cook for a few minutes, then add the beans, tomatoes, olives, garlic, coriander (save a little to garnish the cooked beast), bay leaves, red wine vinegar and anchovy paste. Check the seasoning and return the goat. Baste with the sauce. Dispense with the cartouche.

paletilla de cabrito con alubias blancas

Return to the oven for an hour, or until tender. As long as the heat is kept low, this can be cooked for several hours more and will become increasingly succulent. If you plan to cook it for an extended period of time, reduce the heat to 120º C.

alubias blancas

Rest the goat shoulder for 20 minutes while you thicken the bean stew on the stove top.

Serve the paletilla de cabrito on top of the beans with a sprinkle of chopped coriander and crusty bread. I recommend drinking a glass or two of Emendis Cabró! Negre (red goat) from the Penedès in Catalunya.

About Mad Dog
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7 Responses to Paletilla de Cabrito con Alubias Blancas

  1. I haven’t had goat for years now. There is actually one halal butcher fairly close by that sells it. This sounds like a lovely way to get reacquainted.

  2. You know, I have never eaten goat! I think the first paragraph of this post was y favorite – how you outlines simply how each of those countries enjoyed goat. I am feeling homesick for Europe today!

  3. Janet Mendel says:

    Looks delicious. I am always put off by the high price of cabrito (and cordero). Would love to eat both meats more frequently but for the cost. In the “old days,” chivo (the local word for kid-goat) was often available at the local butcher. Now it’s only by special order.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Janet – I was lucky to have found it quite cheaply, but you are right. Many people sell it as a luxury item these days and wild rabbit has gone the same way. In reality male goats are culled because they don’t produce milk and therefore should be cheap. I suspect a lack of interest might be to blame.

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