Yeah, yeah, we gotta little Christmas to throw here in a couple days, but let us not forget about the big cold front coming and how it will necessitate some comfort food. In case I haven’t made it perfectly clear, that’s going to mean something from South of the Border. Namely, carne guisada — or guiso. In Spanish, carne guisada simply means stewed beef — guiso meaning stew.
The kind I make is a decidedly Tex-Mex. Guiso recipes will vary from region to region as it’s a true example of home-cooking. The kind I grew up is not much different from Southern Beef Tips and Rice with the addition of some ground cumin and a little ground red chile.
There are two ways to thicken guiso. You may prepare a blonde roux or simply toss the beef in flour. The latter is more commonly used in Mexican homes, so that’s the version I went with here.
Enjoy with warm, flour tortillas, grated queso fresco and chopped green onions.
- 1.5 pounds cubed beef like blade meat, chuck steak, or bottom round1
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 1/2 chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic mince or mashed into a tsp of salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted, ground cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile or 1 dried ancho chil rehydrated and ground into paste
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon rendered pork fat or vegetable oil
- Worcestershire sauce
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the cube beef in the flour until lightly dusted.
- Heat the oil in a cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.
- Add the dusted beef and stir until its browned on all sides.
- Add onions and peppers and increase heat to medium-high and stir often.
- Deglaze skillet with a few shakes of Worcestershire and stock, loosening bits from bottom of the skillet and stirring.
- Stir in garlic, oregano, spices and a liberal amount of salt and pepper.
- Bring guiso to a low boil and decrease heat to medium. Simmer at medium to medium-low heat until beef is soft, at least 45 minutes. Add extra water or stock as needed.