Easy Carne Guisada recipe – made with seared beef and cubed potatoes in a tomato-based sauce infused with herbs and spices then simmered low and slow in the oven until the chunks of beef just melt in your mouth!
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Today I’m sharing with you my carne guisada recipe, which is a Latin beef stew. I say Latin because depending on who you ask, some say it originates in Mexico while others say Puerto Rico or Columbia!
Either way, it has become an American Tex-Mex favorite made of chunks of tender beef and potatoes simmering in a sauce made with mouthwatering herbs and spices.
It’s thick, rich, and super flavorful and one of my family’s favorite comfort foods, especially on cold weather days.
Making it is the easy part, it’s waiting to eat it that’s hard, but the low and slow cooking is what gives the meat time to tenderize and the flavors to come together. It is just so good!
Sometimes I’ll serve it over a bed of rice or mashed potatoes,, and other times I’ll use it as a filling for carne guisada tacos which are equally amazing. If I were you, I’d definitely try it both ways!
Carne Guisada vs Carne Asada
If Spanish isn’t your first language you might have heard the two names and wondered how similar they are to one another. While carne means meat, guisada means stew and asada means roast (or grilled).
This is the major difference between the two dishes. Carne asada usually is made by grilling steak and slicing it to enjoy as is or use in other recipes (like tacos!) and carne guisada is a stew all on its own, usually made from a different cut of beef.
- Chuck roast: You may find this in your local grocery store or butcher already cut into 1-inch pieces. If not, use a sharp kitchen knife to trim the fat and then cut them into cubes.
- Avocado oil: Used to help brown the meat. We do this to lock in moisture and add more flavor.
- Onion & garlic: Aromatics that give the sauce added flavor.
- Flour: This is used to thicken up the liquids to make it a rich gravy-like sauce.
- Salt: A bit of extra seasoning to bring out all the flavor of all the ingredients together.
- Tomato paste: Adds a rich red color to the sauce, a tomato flavor, and helps to thicken it up as well.
- Diced tomatoes: A can of diced tomatoes can be low sodium or regular depending on which you prefer. Include the juices too, you don’t need to strain the tomatoes.
- Water or broth: Either will work. This recipe has so much flavor as it is, but for that extra bit, I highly recommend using my homemade Instant Pot beef bone broth!
- Potatoes: Peel and cut them into ½ inch cubes. Use any type of potato you prefer. If using Yukon gold or red potatoes you can decide not to peel them if you prefer. Russet potatoes need to be peeled.
- Green bell pepper: Wash then cut them into cubes. You can use red, orange or yellow bell pepper if you prefer a sweeter, less bitter flavor. I love green peppers so I’ll stick with them.
- Herbs & spices: Chili powder, oregano, coriander, cumin, and Montreal steak spice.
How to Make Carne Guisada
Step 1: Move the oven rack to the bottom leaving enough room between racks so the Dutch oven can fit inside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Step 2: Add oil to the Dutch oven and heat over medium heat on the stove. Cook in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Add half of the beef to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and brown the cubes for 7-10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once done, transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining beef.
Step 3: Once all of the beef has been seared, add all of the pieces back into the pot. Add the onions, stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Again, stir occasionally.
Step 4: Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, oregano, coriander, cumin, and Montreal steak spice and cook for another minute. Stir a few times then sprinkle in the flour, stir, and continue cooking for another minute.
Step 5: Lastly, add the tomatoes and water (or broth) and bring it to a simmer. Stir everything once more and cover with a lid.
Step 6: Bake in the oven for 1.5 hours then carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven. Stir in the potatoes and green peppers, replace the lid and continue cooking in the oven for another 45 minutes. The beef and potatoes should be nice and tender.
- Without potatoes. You can leave these out completely if you’d rather keep it low carb or you just don’t have any!
- To make it gluten-free, swap the flour and use a cornstarch slurry instead.
- Extra spice. If you want your dish a bit spicy, you can add in some cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes, or serve it with sliced jalapenos.
What is the best beef to use for Carne Guisada Recipe?
Look for pieces that have more marbling, which is essentially the fat between the muscles. Not so much the fat on the outside which you want to trim, this is the fat that runs throughout the meat.
This is the kind of beef that stays moist, won’t dry out, and will melt in your mouth when cooked just right.
Chuck roast, stew meat, beef round, top round, or rump roast are all good choices.
How to store leftovers?
Keep all your yummy leftover carne guisada in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze carne guisada?
Absolutely! This is a great freezer-friendly meal that can be kept frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight then enjoy!
How to reheat?
Use the microwave of a skillet or pot on the stovetop. You might need to add a splash of water or broth as it reheats to thin it out a bit.
For Carne Guisada
- 3 1/2 lb chuck roast fat trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 onion chopped
- 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water or broth
- 1 lb golden potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 5 small/medium potatoes)
- 2 green bell pepper washed and cubed
- Preheat the oven to 325F and adjust the oven rack to lower position so the dutch oven can fit inside the oven. Now, preheat oil over medium heat, add half of the beef (cooking in batches), season with salt and pepper, to taste. Brown for 7-10 minutes, stirring few times. Then transfer onto a plate, repeat with the second batch.
- Once the second batch is browned, return the first batch of beef back into the pot and add onion, give it a good mix and cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is softened, stirring few times.
- Next, stir in tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, oregano, coriander, cumin and Montreal steak spice. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring few times.
- Sprinkle flour, stir and cook for another minutes.
- Now, add tomatoes and water, bring it to a simmer. Stir, then cover with a lid and transfer dutch oven into the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Carefully remove dutch oven from the oven. Add potatoes and green peppers, give a good stir.
- Cover and place it back into the oven for about 45 minutes or until beef and potatoes are tender. Enjoy with tortilla and taco toppings.
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