Citizens, Carne guisada is a delicious Tex-Mex recipe that is extremely popular throughout Texas and other parts of the southwestern United States. Not to be confused with carna asada (which is marinated flank or skirt steak) carne guisada (CAR-nay gee-SA-da) is a beef stew that’s braised low and slow with chiles, onions, tomatoes, spices and, in my case, beer for hours until it creates its own gravy.
It’s offered as a filling at roadside taco stands and food trucks throughout Texas and especially San Antonio, the city where I first discovered it. Besides making a perfect comfort food (and even better leftovers), carne guisada is inexpensive — cheap stew meat is the most expensive component — and it is also easy to prepare.
My version is extremely tasty and makes for a fine family dinner as a taco filling or just on its own – I hope you enjoy this classic tex-mex dish for yourselves, Citizens! 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo
2 lbs. stew beef, cut into 1″ cubes
3 tablespoon lard (or vegetable oil, but lard gives the true flavor)
¼ c. flour seasoned with salt and pepper
¼ c. minced red bell pepper
½ c. minced onion
2 minced tomatoes
1 minced chipotle in adobo, Herdez brand preferred
2 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce
⅓ c. tomato paste
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano, rubbed between the palms
Salt & pepper to taste
1 minced jalapeno
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp. freshly ground cumin
½ tsp. freshly ground coriander seed
1 ½ tsp. chili powder – only Gebhardt’s brand will suffice for a true Texan! Buy it on Amazon here
¾ teaspoon paprika
2/3 c. beef broth
⅓ c. dark Mexican beer such as Negro Modelo
⅓ c. chopped cilantro
1 bay leaf
Additional cilantro for garnish
Rinse, dry and cut the meat. In a bowl, toss together with the seasoned flour and remove, shaking off the excess.
In a large pot or a Dutch oven, heat the lard or oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat on all sides (about half a minute per side). Do this in batches if need be; don’t overcrowd the pot. Remove from pot and set aside.
Lower heat to medium. If necessary, add a little more oil to the pot and saute the garlic, onion, bell peppers, jalapenos, chipotle and spices. Stirring often, cook until the vegetables just begin to soften, then and add the tomato paste, chipotles and the adobo sauce, stirring to fully incorporate. Let cook for a few more minutes.
Add the browned beef back to the pot and pour in the beer and tomatoes (plus liquid) and add bay leaf. If the liquid doesn’t completely cover the meat, add a little beer or broth to the pot to cover it. Crank up the heat, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 2-4 hours (or longer), until the meat starts to soften and break down into strings and the “gravy” thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro.
Serve with warm flour tortillas.