Carne Guisada Galore

This stuff is wonderful. It’s a Mexican stew, and it’s supposed to be very thick, and very spicy. And it makes the most wonderful burrito with some frijoles refritos and a few other condiments.

It has a lot of ingredients (though there are plenty of simpler recipes out there), but once thrown together, you can let it cook away all day with nothing much else to do until you can’t wait to EAT!

I am indebted to Kim Biegacki at JustaPinch for her recipe which inspired me. Frankly this is mostly her recipe, I just cut and added a bit here and there based on looking at a dozen or so similar recipes. Some of my changes were based on what was available to me, so do not feel bound to exactitude.

Here, the blending of flavors is more important than actual amounts, so change it up to fit your idea of heat and spice. I can tell you that what I ended up seemed awfully hot, but when we ate it, it was mouth warm rather than burning. So judge by my use of chiles what you might like.


  • 1 1/2 lbs chuck, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 1/2 c of a Mexican lager beer (I could find none so used Sam Adams Winter Lager)
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and deveined as you prefer or not, diced finely
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 of a sweet pepper, any color, diced finely
  • 1-2 Serrano chiles, seeds removed or not (I did most of them) diced very finely
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 TBSP my Mexican spice mix
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce
  • 1 TBSP chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, micro-planed
  • flour and oil for the meat
  • tortillas
  • 1 recipe of frijoles refritos (recipe follows)
  • sour cream
  • assorted cheddar or other Mexican cheese
  • limes
  • fresh cilantro


  1. Heat about 3 tbsp of oil in a large cooking pot. ( I use a big old cast-iron pot with a glass lid)
  2. Throw all the meat into a plastic bag and sprinkle generously with flour, shake until all the pieces are well coated
  3. Begin by browning in batches the meat. Just one layer at a time, and brown them well. Remove done ones to a bowl until all are completed. Then return all the meat to the pot.
  4. Add the onions, chiles, peppers, and saute until they are just softened.
  5. Add the tomatoes, beer, and all the spices and herbs, adobo sauce etc.
  6. Put it on a low simmer and check every hour or so and stir. Let this cook for a good 4 hours. It should be quite thick. Make a roux from flour and butter and add if it is too liquid, or take the lid off and continue simmering and let it cook down.
  7. Warm your flour tortillas
  8. Make a recipe of frijoles refritos.
  9. Place the rest of the condiments on the table.
  10. Take a tortilla, spread with some frijoles, add a couple of tablespoons of the guisada, add sour cream, cheese, squirt some lime on top, and a sprig of cilantro. Roll into a burrito and chow down!

Serves: 4-6

Note: If you do not wish to make burritos, you could serve over rice, Mexican flavored or plain. It could also be served with tortilla chips. Obviously you can add other things like avocado, chopped scallions, ripe olives as you desire.


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