My husband grew up eating carne guisada, and his favorite is from Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen in Houston, Texas. I’ve never attempted to make carne guisada until my husband bought me The Enchilada Queen Cookbook: Enchiladas, Fajitas, Tamales and More Classic Recipes From Texas-Mexico Border Kitchens by Sylvia Casares, the owner of the restaurant. This carne guisada recipe is authentic, rich, hearty and just plain delicious.
I chose to not add the potato into the beef stew and served fried potatoes on the side. While it has a few steps, this Mexican beef stew recipe is easy to make. And yes, it’s better the next day. Thank you, Sylvia.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 1/2 hours
Servings: 4 to 6
Tex-Mex Holy Trinity
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 1/4 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 3 (5 inch) guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 1 small chile de arbol, stem removed (no need to remove seeds)
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons Tex-Mex Holy Trinity
- 1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 2 – 3 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (optional)
Here’s how to make it:
- For the Tex-Mex Holy Trinity, combine the garlic, cumin, peppercorns and water in a molecajete, mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Process until it’s a smooth paste. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.
- For the carne guisada, in a large soup pot, combine the beef and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Using a large spoon, skim the frothy gray material off of the top. Cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepot, combine the dried chiles and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. In a blender, add chiles and their liquid and process until smooth. Push the mixture through a mesh strainer to removed the solids. Throw the solids away and reserve 1/2 cup of the smooth liquid. (Pro tip: add a little water if you don’t get exactly 1/2 cup.)
- To the meat, add the onion, tomato, green bell pepper, 1/2 cup chile liquid, tomato sauce, Holy Tex-Mex Trinity, oregano, bay leaves and salt. Simmer for 20 minutes or until meat is fork tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepot over medium, heat the oil. Add the flour and cook until golden tan in color. Remove from heat. Add some of the liquid from the stew pot and stir until smooth.
- Stir the flour mixture into the stew. If using potatoes, add them and cook about 10 more minutes or until they are tender. Serve.