There is just something magical about slowly braised/stewed beef; that long and slow simmering brings out all of it’s flavours! Many cultures have different versions of stewed beef and this carne guisada is a Mexican style version that is seasoned with cumin, black pepper, chilies, tomatoes onions and garlic. The beef is browned on all sides before adding the remaining ingredients and simmering for a few hours, until it’s super tender. This stewed beef has very little broth and what sauce there is is thickened so that it sticks to the meat! Carne guisada is great all by itself and I like to serve it with Mexican style rice, beans and tortillas for scooping. I like to make large batches to have leftovers for use in tacos, quesadillas, burritos, etc.!
Carne Guisada (Braised Beef)
Melt in your mouth tender Mexican style stewed beef!
- 1 tablespoon oil (or lard or bacon grease)
- 3 pounds stewing beef (such as chuck), cut into 1-2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup flour (optional) (rice flour for gluten-free)
- 1 onion, diced (~1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
- 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped *
- 1 tomato, diced (~1 cup)
- 1 cup beef broth (or water)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Toss the meat in the flour, add to the pan and brown on all sides before setting aside.
- Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, pepper, cumin and chipotle chilies and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until the start to release their juices and break down a bit, about 5 minutes.
- Add the beef and broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beef is falling apart tender, about 2 hours, adding extra broth (or water) as needed OR transfer to a preheated 350F/180C oven and roast, covered, until the beef is tender, about 2-3 hours, OR transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or on high for 3-5 hours.
Tip: Use whole peppercorns and cumin seeds, toast them and grind them to bring out more flavour and aroma!
Option: Instead of using fresh tomatoes, use canned/tinned diced tomatoes, or pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Option: The chili heat can be added in a number of ways! I like chipotle chilies in adobo because they are quick and easy, along with that smokey goodness! You can replace them with chili powder, or diced jalapeno, or dried chilies (such as guajillo, chile de arbol, etc.) that have been toasted, soaked in just boiled water and pureed, etc.
Option: Add brown sugar to add lightly balancing sweet layer!
Option: Add diced bell peppers.
Option: Add diced potatoes.
Option: Add extra broth (or water) if you desire a more stew/soup like version!
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