carne guisada

Beef Carne Guisada

This carne guisada recipe is rich and hearty, with the perfect amount of flavorful chili heat.


Carne guisada is Spanish for ‘stewed meat’. Seems like a pretty broad recipe name, right? That’s because unlike, say, an Enchilada, carne guisada is not a specifically defined recipe or dish. It’s quite literally ANY stewed meat. Some guisadas are made with beef, while others use pork or goat. Some guisadas have potatoes and carrots, others are strictly carnivore. Some guisadas are chunky , while others are cooked down to tender strands. Some guisadas are brothy stews, while others have the consistency of a thick curry. Are you seeing what I’m saying? There is no one single carne guisada recipe – and no two recipes are alike. Most folks make their guisada bases on how their grandma used to make it. But considering my Grandma is Czech, I had to come up with my own version.

So with that caveat, allow me to share MY carne guisada recipe. It has potatoes to make it a little heartier, and has a thicker sauce rather than a broth. And for my signature carne guisada, the meat of choice has to be beef. I usually look for a whole chuck roast then cut my own pieces, but you can also use pre-cut stew meat. If you really want to make a spectacular version, you might consider using some wagyu stew meat (I’ve used and love this wagyu kebob meat from Double 8 Cattle). It makes the dish even more rich and silky, and is a GREAT entry point to tasting wagyu if the price tag of the steaks has you a little hesitant. I mean, even wagyu cattle produce stew meat, so why not take advantage?

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carne guisada

Beef Carne Guisada

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  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6



2 lb diced beef

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 bunch fresh cilantro

½ onion, peeled

1 serrano chili

28oz can diced tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons tallow or lard (can substitute for vegetable oil)

1 lb potatoes

Optional – tortillas, rice & refried beans for serving


  1. Mix the salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and chipotle in a small bowl.
  2. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel, then sprinkle on the spice mixture, tossing to make sure all pieces are coated.
  3. Place a heavy bottomed pot (I use enamelled cast iron) over medium high heat, and add the lard or tallow.
  4. Add half the beef to the hot fat, and brown the pieces on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove from the pot and repeat with remaining beef.
  5. While the meat is browning, place the cilantro, onion, serrano, tomatoes, garlic, broth and tomato paste into a blender, and blitz until very smooth.
  6. Return all beef to the pot, then add the blended mixture.
  7. Peel the potatoes, and cut them into 1.5” chunks (this can be approximate). Add them to the pot.
  8. Bring the guisada to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  9. Simmer for 60-90 minutes until the beef is tender.
  10. Serve with warm corn tortillas, rice and refried beans.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

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