Although summer is fast approaching, the weather in many parts of the country is still unpredictable, including rain, record flooding and tornadoes. In other words, the season for backyard barbecues has yet to arrive. So why not prepare something in the kitchen with a Latino twist that will leave your family feeling warm and fuzzy inside? This is all about our recipe for Carne Guisada, a savory Tex-Mex beef stew that many folks say originated in San Antonio, but is also popular in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and other parts of Latin America. That’s because the dish starts with an inexpensive cut of beef and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
Internationally, Carne Guisada can be served in the form of tacos with avocado, brown or black beans and green or red salsa and cilantro. Usually however, the Tex-Mex style is served as a stew with veggies, thick gravy and spicy condiments, often over Spanish rice. It turns a traditional American favorite into a creation similar but with a slight Spanish accent.
The preparation all starts with about four pounds of ground chuck or beef round. The latter should be cut into small chunks. This should be plenty for dinner and leftovers. Since everyone doesn’t have a crock pot or slow cooker, let’s do this in a stove top skillet. Saute the meat with a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil. Add a large diced onion, bell pepper and tomato. Next toss in four cloves of crushed garlic and generously sprinkle in ground cumin plus a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Finish up with a hefty two tablespoons of flour and a cup of water.
Bring all the ingredients to a boil, stir and then lower to a simmer and cover. Continue to stir frequently for about an hour and a half. Test the meat with a fork to make sure it’s completely cooked and tender. Top with cilantro and break out the plates. To convert into a taco fiesta, warm up plenty of flour tortillas with slices of avocados. And remember, great kitchen creations can also be served outdoors in the patio.