Billy Goat's Grudge..

Looks good, doesn't it?

Friends, let me introduce you to Birria.  (The State dish of Jalisco!)

It is prepared with slow-cooked goat's meat and served with a spicy tomato salsa.  It is a dish loved by many.

But to Hubby it is death on a plate. 

The first time I learned about this was during our first year in Mexico, when we still lived with my in-laws.

My mother-in-law purchased some Birria at the Mercado (market) to serve for lunch.  I don't like Birria, so Hope, Nick and I ate something else, while the rest of the family enjoyed a big bowl of Birria.

Hubby woke up later that night complaining that his stomach hurt.  It was 2 o'clock in the morning, so I didn't pay that much attention to him.  

He got up and went to the bathroom where he kept moaning in pain.  Then he let out the loudest and longest moan I had ever heard.  I will never forget it because it sounded like a bear crying out in pain after he's been shot.  Just horrible.

The moan was then followed by a THUD and a lot of noise because the broom, mop and bucket had fallen over.

I jumped out of bed to see what had happened.

Seeing my husband passed out on the bathroom floor was the worst feeling in the world.

The ruckus had awakened the kids and they were also startled by the sight of their dad.  I tried to assure them that Daddy was just being silly and sent them back to bed.

I attended to Hubby and got him to wake up.  He was dazed and confused.  And he had no idea how or why he was on the bathroom floor.  To make matters even scarier, Hubby fell face first, so his nose and mouth were bleeding.

I managed to get Hubby up and out of the bathroom.  I sat him down in our rocker and cleaned him up a bit.  Then I noticed that he was trembling and sweating profusely.  Not really knowing what to do, I decided to run downstairs to wake my in-laws.

When I made it down the stairs, my father-in-law was standing at the door and directed me to the kitchen.  My mother-in-law was awake making a pot of tea and already had the medicines necessary on the table.  She had also passed out, but managed to land on the sofa.  She came to when she heard the noise upstairs.

She calmly explained that it had been the Birria.  "It can have that affect on people, but we still eat it because it's so good!" 

I ran back upstairs to give Hubby the tea and medicines.  In less than an hour, Hubby was feeling much better and was able to go back to sleep.  I on the other hand was a nervous wreck and spent the night tossing and turning.

Hubby awoke the next morning in good spirits, but a little sore.  He had his dentist brother take a look at his teeth because they were hurting pretty bad after the fall.  All of Hubby's teeth were loose and had it not been for his braces, they would have fallen out!

I didn't like Birria before this incident and now that it had knocked out my Hubby and almost knocked his teeth out, I never wanted to see Birria again!

But we would meet again...



  1. Very interesting. I had never heard about the passing out thing. I have enjoyed goat many many times. Some of the best birria we have had was at 6AM in Mazatlan. Goat, it's just not for breakfast anymore...

  2. Wow! Interesting story.
    Glad he is better now. Jocotepec is famous for it's Birria and virtually every restaurant on the plaza is a Birria joint. Guess we won't be seeing you guys there. . .

  3. Yikes - There is something to be said for being a vegetarian at times like this ;-)

  4. "It can have that affect on people, but we still eat it because it's so good!" HAHAHAHA best part of the story!

    Never heard of this dish... why does it make you pass out???? Glad everyone was ok.

  5. We used to raise goats so I've eaten my share of goat. Tastes like venison to me, but better.
    I've heard of birria but never seen a recipe or eaten it. What do they put in it for that extra "kick"? Now I am really curious and I'm off to find a recipe.
    I have to say that seeing your husband passed out and bleeding has to be the worse thing ever to wake up to!

  6. CHRISSY: Birria is a very popular breakfast food here! It used to be Hubby's favorite, but after my next story you'll know why he's changed his mind!

    GRINGATION: I know so many people that have a low tolerance for Birria, but they still it eat because they love the taste.

    No one knows for sure why they pass out, but most claim that it has to do with vaccines. I just can't remember if it's the vaccinated goats that make people sick or if it's the other way around. :)

    THERESA: The traditional recipe for Birria calls for the goat meat to be baked in a clay oven in the ground atop "pencas de maguey". It sounds really delicious, but I didn't care much for my first taste. :)

  7. Goat meat is also a delicacy in the Philippines and usually is a "treat". It's served only on special occasions.

  8. I wonder what causes people to have such an aggressive reaction? I'm partly scared yet intrigued by this Birria - may have to ask la suegra to make some!

  9. Yum! I finally gave in and showed my hubby my secret for my new recipies and showed him your page!!

  10. Wow glad I didnt read your post a month ago. Birria is what I ate the day of my ultrasound for my gallbladder. It was the first time I had ever had it and was the first greasy, fatty meal to NOT make me sick. This is so weird I must know the reason for it making people pass out. I hope someone comments on it or I might have to do some research.

  11. Put me down as a birria lover. We certainly have our share along the highway. No bad effects, yet.

  12. Hi Leslie! I just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog and have been following it for a while. Keep writing! Sixoryx in Queretaro

  13. I've been eating birria since I was a little girl.I never knew it had that effect on people. Now I'm curious about what exactly makes the people sick.

  14. Whoa! So you never found out exactly what caused the crazy reaction? Obviously it was the food, but I do wonder exactly what about the food might've caused him so much pain... the vaccine thing sounds a little odd.

    Too bad he can't eat birria anymore. :( I love it.

  15. So, they made it sound like that is pretty normal?
    Or normal for some other reason like other little things living in the stew?>
    I have had it, made it, and never experienced anything like that! If it wasn't so expensive I would suggest a sample to the closest lab....I think there is more to the story.....
    Glad that the herbal medicine settle or killed the effects.....

  16. LOL! I am sure at the time it was terrifying but to have that happen because of the! and then your MIL says it happens and since it's so good, we still eat it. LOL!!! Your blog makes me very hungry!!!

  17. Get out! I've never had birria. I won't try even when relatives make it, but I did not know it could have that effect on people. Now I know I'll never try it.

  18. Sounds more like food poisoning to me, I would not be surprised.

  19. Three of my children were born in Jalisco but I don't remember ever eating this. Of course, we lived on a mission farm and didn't go out much. Being pregnant twice, I was leary of greasy foods, so that would have been another reason not to eat it.