I have this habit. Every morning as I make my coffee, my head thinks of two things: 1 - Breakfast 2 - Dinner. Yeah, annoying I know but I'm a mom and have to think ahead so that I'm not scrambling come dinner time. Last night, I made tender stewed Carne Guisada with Gravy. What is Carne Guisada? Simply put…stew meat cooked with onion, bell pepper, tomato and spices.
In preparation for last night's dinner, my hubby sorted through the freezer to see what our options were. He found the stew meat and asked if that would work for dinner. Still half asleep, I muttered it would do although, I really had no plans for what I would make with it.
The way I saw it, it was a starting point. Next step would be to scavenge the pantry to see what we had in there. We did find some options but neither of them impressed me. Last minute, I decided on Carne Guisada. I rarely make it and the family loves it. Plus, we had everything we needed…well, sans the bell pepper but that's okay. I'm not a big fan of it anyway and it will be just fine without it.
How To Make It
Why buying stew meat, most often you will find it in varying sizes. What you need to do is cut the pieces that are too big. Ideally, you want the meat chunks to be no bigger than 1" big. Once the meat is sized appropriately, chop your veggies. I did a rough chop of them. Now I didn't have the green bell pepper but if I did, seeds would need to be removed and discarded. Give it a rough chop as well. Set them all aside. The garlic cloves that I used were previously roasted and stored in a small mason jar in the fridge. I used three of them. If you do not have roasted garlic, use what you have. You can leave them whole or chop them up too. The roasted cloves I used dissolved beautifully into the gravy but I'm not sure how the fresh ones would fare in this dish. So if you use fresh whole garlic cloves, watch for them when you serve and eat this meal. No one wants to bite into a whole garlic clove!
The Carne Guisada seasoning says it should thicken into a gravy but mine didn't. For this reason, I added a cornstarch slurry as it helps thicken the sauce. Cornstarch is best when it is mixed and dissolved with a small amount of COLD water. It also works best when the mixture it is to be poured into is in a boiling state. Drizzle it in slowly and stir continually while doing so. If feeding a larger crowd, this can be doubled easily. These Charro Beans I posted the other day accompany this dish perfectly as well as this Arnold Palmer!
Carne Guisada is a stewed meat flavored with some earthy Mexican (and other) spices along with green bell pepper, onion and tomatoes. A rich gravy envelopes the slow cooked chunks of meat, giving it the most amazing flavor.
- 2-3 lbs Stew Meat, cut into 1" pieces
- 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium Yellow Onion, rough chopped
- 1/2 medium Green Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Cumin, ground
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1 medium Tomato, rough chopped
- 2 1/2 tbsp Carne Guisada Seasoning
- 3 tbsp Cornstarch
- In a dutch oven, heat up oil. Add onion and garlic. Stir occasionally until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add stew meat, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika. Stir to combine well. Add water, covering about 2" above meat. Add tomato and stir to combine. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a medium low and cover. Stir occasionally and add water as needed.
- When meat is tender, scoop out half a cup of the broth and add the carne guisada seasoning to it. Stir well to combine and dissolve the seasoning. Add it back into the pot and stir to combine well. Raise temperature to bring to a boil.
- In the meantime, in a small cup add 3 tbsp COLD water. Add cornstarch and stir to dissolve well. Once stew comes to a boil, immediately begin drizzling in the cornstarch slurry slowly while stirring at the same time. Continually stir for another two minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Broth should thicken into a gravy.
- Remove from heat. Enjoy!
Cori - xoxo