This easy carne guisada recipe is for Tex Mex style or Mexican beef stew. Chunks of beef simmered in fragrant brown gravy until tender. It’s so simple to prepare and you probably already have the ingredients on hand!
Recipe for Carne Guisada
Carne means “meat” in Spanish. Carne de res is how you say “beef” and it often gets shortened to just “carne.” Authentic carne asada is grilled and carne guisada is stewed.
Carne guisada is a comforting, filling, flavorful dinner that is traditionally served with homemade flour tortillas, rice and beans.
My cousins in Texas like to serve it over mashed potatoes which is really yummy, too.
You can also roll it up taco style and top with cheddar cheese – yum!
I highly recommend serving with the homemade flour tortillas if you can. They melt in your mouth and complement the meat perfectly.
You don’t even need utensils to eat when you can scoop it up with a tortilla!
The beef cooks low and slow so that all the ingredients melt down into a stew.
To make it an even heartier meal, you can add potatoes and carrots while it’s simmering.
I love to cook it all in my cast iron skillet for even more flavor.
How to make Carne Guisada
What type of meat is carne guisada? You’ll want to use stew meat which can be any kind of beef chuck or beef round.
I typically pick up the packet of meat that says “stew meat” and is already conveniently diced up.
If using a chunk of meat such as top round, you’ll need to cut the beef into 1-inch cubes.
Dice up an onion. Optionally, you can also dice up a green bell pepper.
We typically don’t make it with the green pepper, but it’s a common ingredient in carne guisada.
Some people will even substitute a spicy pepper such as jalapeño or poblano.
You’ll also need tomato or tomato sauce. We usually use Spanish style tomato sauce since we always have it on hand, especially when tomatoes are not in season.
The beauty of this recipe is that is can be made on any night with whatever you have on hand.
Besides the beef and vegetables, the sauce is seasoned with ground cumin. Of course, if you can freshly grind your own it tastes the best.
All-purpose flour is used to thicken it up into a nice gravy.
This carne guisada recipe cooks low and slow for at least 1 ½ hours.
The meat should be fall-apart tender and the gravy thick and rich.
It’s not a quick meal, but it produces the best flavor!
If you want a delicious dinner in about 20 minutes, try my Mexican Pork Stew (Puerco en Salsa Roja) recipe instead.
That guiso has only two ingredients yet tastes like it was simmering for hours!
- 3 lbs stew meat
- 1 tablespoon oil (lard, bacon grease, etc)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced (optional)
- 3 tablespoons tomato sauce or 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water or chicken stock
- Flour tortillas, rice or mashed potatoes, for serving
- In a large pan, brown the stew meat in oil of choice with onions and green pepper (if using) over high heat.
- Add the tomato sauce (or tomato), garlic powder (or fresh garlic), cumin, salt and pepper and stir well.
- Sprinkle the flour over the meat and mix well. Add the water (or stock) and mix well so there are no lumps.
- Bring to a boil, cover pan and reduce heat to low. Cook for 1 ½ hours, or until meat is tender.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Serve with rice, tortillas or mashed potatoes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 612
Try this Mexican pork stew:
You might also like this great Southwestern side dish packed with veggies and cheese! Calabacitas con Queso: