Carne Guisada

Carne Guisada is the heartiest of Tex-Mex comfort foods, for those days when tacos and burritos seem like they should be in the “Lighter Fare” section of the menu.  My husband orders it alot, but it always seems so rich and greasy that I rarely even have my obligatory taste.  At some restaurants, it’s so spicy that I can’t fathom eating a whole dripping plateful.  But, the concept of the dish is sound and it deserves respect and more attention from the culinary world.

Beef-and-gravy, Tex-Mex style.

After consulting a few cookbooks and the internet, I found shockingly few recipes to research.  This brought me to a profound appreciation of Tex-Mex cuisine, a genre closer to Southern food in local variations than I once thought.  We have some seriously good Tex-Mex in Austin but I have several friends who claim that good Tex-Mex does not exist north of San Antonio.  I heartily disagree with this second claim but can still claim to have lived 8 years of my life in SA so that gives me some street cred.

Carne Guisada

Approx 45 minutes prep to oven.

2 tbsp EV olive oil

2 lbs stew beef

1 large onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 C flour

2 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tbsp oregano

2 C beef broth or 1 beer

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Heat oven to 250°.  Pat meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large dutch oven on medium high.  Working in 2 batches, add half of  meat and brown beef on both sides, about 2-3 min/side. Remove beef to plate while browning the second batch.

To empty Dutch oven, add onion and soften about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Add spices and cook 1 minute more to toast.

Deglaze with beef stock, scraping brown bits. Add oregano and return meat to pot.  Bring to a simmer and place in oven to braise, 3-4 hours.

Remove from oven and add cilantro. Serve in bowls with rice, beans, tortillas. Garnish with Cotija cheese.

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