Sunday, October 19, 2008

Carne Guisada

After an exhausting week of late nights with Phillies baseball (oh but sooo worth it - World Series, baby!!!!), Jon's long work trip to Vegas, and my whirlwind work trip to NC, we decided to stay in on Saturday night.

We decided on red meat so I looked for inspiration for something new. Mexican flavors are always good for both of us, so I googled "Mexican beef." I found a dish called Carne Guisada - a beef stew with Mexican spices and jalapenos. I used this recipe as my base. Then, after doing some more research, I found many different variations of Carne Guisada - Puerto Rican, Colombian, Spanish, and even Tex-Mex. So I took what I liked, and came up with this.
  • 1.5 pounds of beef; I used stew meat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 dried guajilla chilies, soaked, then seeded and chopped
  • 14.5 oz beef broth
  • Spices - chili powder, cumin, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, Mexican oregano, and a chili blend that I bought while at The Chopping Block in Chicago a few weeks ago (I wouldn't use the chili blend next time as the cinnamon in it seemed to stick out too much).
  • Salt, approximately 2 tsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper, approximately 1 tsp
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Olive oil


  • Coat beef with all of the spices - don't be shy! I used the spices in this order from most to least - chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chili blend.
  • Heat olive oil in a large stew pot. Add beef and brown.
  • Add onions, garlic, jalapenos, guajillas and stir for a few minutes.
  • Add the beef broth and tomato paste; bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add salt and pepper; I also added a touch more chili powder after tasting it.
  • Cover almost all the way and let simmer for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Adjust seasonings and serve over rice (or in a tortilla).

Whew this had some heat! The meat was so tender, and it was very good, but Jon and I both agree that it was missing something. More salt would have helped, and I'm thinking that a small can of tomatoes and even some green peppers would have been good.

Even though this took about 2.5 hours from prep until dinner time, it was not a lot of work at all. I will try this again with the modifications mentioned above.

NOTE: My parents ate our leftovers and loved it, so I think this is one of those dishes, like many soups and stews, that gets better on days 2 and 3.

I had a leftover zucchini so I chopped it up and sauteed in it olive oil with a chopped red pepper, salt, and some dried cilantro. This mix was the perfect veggie side for the stew.

After dinner we watched game 6 of the Red Sox-Tampa Bay series hoping that maybe tonight we would find out who the Phillies will be playing in the World Series, but no such luck! On to game 7... this is going to be such an exciting week of baseball! GO PHILLIES!!!!!

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