Beef stew that packs flavour and melts in your mouth

Carne guisada is a simple stew with a Tex-Mex twist.

crowd-pleaser, family, midweek meal

Wine pairing: My friends at Michael Sutton’s Cellar suggested Matata from South Africa.

A blend of Mourvèdre, Shiraz & Grenache this vibrant blend is bursting with juicy red berries and is a velvety, smooth and versatile wine.

Ideal for everyday enjoyment.

Stew love

I love slow-cooked stews.

They’re cheap.

Easy to feed a hungry crowd.

And they’re pretty hands-off cooking.

My recent favourite was the Hungarian goulash.

So, incredibly easy and packs a good flavoursome punch with its use of paprika.


But, now it’s time for some Latin American influence on a classic stew.

Carne guisada: A Tex-Mex twist on stew

A popular dish throughout Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

This simple stew has been adapted many times over.

Carne guisada is Spanish for ‘stewed meat’.

(It’s also called Carne de res guisada).

And is a dish that gives you the freedom to use any stewed meat.

And have your own take on what veggies or consistency of the stew you want.

Who doesn’t love a bit of cooking freedom?!

Most carne guisade recipes are rich and hearty with a good amount of chilli heat.

And in my family – except for poor old Franks – we love a bit of heat.

(Plus Frankie is a veggie so he suffers on many levels in our household when it comes to food).

So, carne guisada is often flavoured with cumin, jalapeños, and chilli powder.

And the key, like any good stew.

Is low and slow cooking.

Which gives you that wonderful tender meat.

And a rich sauce.

Delicious carne guisada with a bottle of Matata – blend of Mourvèdre, Shiraz & Grenache

What to serve with carne guisada

You can serve it on flour tortillas, although rice or potatoes works well too.

But this recipe has potatoes in it so some greens alongside will do the trick.

Carne guisada vs carne guisada

Carne asada is grilled.

And the cut is usually flank steaks marinated in lime juice and seasonings, grilled, and then cut into thin strips.

Another small difference is carne asada is either served as a main course with rice and beans.

Or used as a filling for tacos or burritos.

However, carne guisada is a beef stew usually made from beef chuck.

And is slowly cooked at low heat until tender.

Carne guisada can be served with potatoes (carne guisada con patatas), in tortillas (carne guisada tacos), or simply with rice.

How to make carne guisada

The basic recipe for carne guisada is to brown the meat.

And then simmer low and slow with the sauce and the veggies.

But there are several different ways to make this dish:

  • Stove top: The one-pot method uses a large skillet, cast iron pan or Dutch oven for browning and simmering
  • Crock pot carne guisada: Brown the beef in skillet and then transfer to a slow cooker for simmering.
  • Pressure cooker carne guisada: This is the fastest method for making this dish.

Carne guisada tips

  1. Don’t skimp on browning the beef
    1.  as this is where the rich flavors really develop in this dish. A few extra minutes of effort will produce a more flavorful dish later on!
  2. Be patient & you will be rewarded
    1. For a divine carne guisada gravy, simmer over low heat for approx. 1 hr, then add some flour or corn starch to thicken if you want

Carne guisada

Course Main Course
Keyword mexican, one pot meal, stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Cost £


  • 1 kg diced beef – (something like chuck, skirt or brisket)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder or smoked paprika
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 serrano chilli or jalapeno (sub. in 1 – 2 tsp chilli powder)
  • 2 x 400 g tinned tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500 g potatoes


  • In a bowl, mix salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and chipotle (or smoked paprika) in a small bowl.
  • Pat the beef dry, then sprinkle the spice mix onto the meat and cover well.
  • Take a casserole dish and over medium-high heat, add the oil and brown the meat all over (you may need to do in batches to not over-crowd the pan). Takes approx 15 mins.
  • As you brown the meat, take the coriander, onion, serrano chilli (or jalapeno), tomatoes, garlic, stock and tomato paste and blitz in a blender until very smooth.
  • Return all beef to the casserole dish, then add the blended mix.
  • Peel the potatoes, and cut them into chunks and add them to the casserole dish.
  • Now, bring the stew to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 1 -1.5 hrs or until the beef is tender.
    Serve with warm corn tortillas or rice.