Carne guisada (CAR-nay gee-SA-da) is a Mexican-style beef stew that hails primarily from south Texas. It’s main ingredient is cubed beef stew meat that is braised low and slow for hours with varying combinations of chilies, onions, tomatoes, and spices. The flour used to coat the seared meat causes the sauce to end up thickening to a gravy-like consistency. While fantastic on its own, served straight up in a bowl with a spoon, carne guisada also makes a savory taco or burrito filling.
For this version of carne guisada, I gave it an injection of Hatch chile flavor with Stubb’s new Hatch Chile Cookin’ Sauce pack. The package comes with a Cookin’ sauce, which I used for the braising, a spice packet, which I used to saute the vegetables with, and a Finishing Sauce, which I stirred into the thickened gravy sauce just before serving. This trio gives a fun, updated kick of flavor to this classic Tex-mex comfort food dish. Best of all, everything but the meat and veggies come in one package. The second best part about this dish is that you can easily use a slow cooker to do most of the work — just set it and forget it. A few hours later, you’ll have the makings of an incredibly flavorful meal.
I suggest serving this Hatch carne guisada on or with a side of warm tortillas, limes for squeezing on top of the meat, and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and crumbled Mexican cotija cheese.
Stubb’s Hatch Chile Carne Guisada
2-3 pounds beef chuck roast or stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup flour seasoned with a large pinch each of salt and pepper
High-heat cooking oil (canola, grapeseed, sunflower, etc.), as needed
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
Stubb’s Hatch Chile Seasoning Pack
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
Stubb’s Hatch Chile Cookin’ Sauce
12 ounces (1 3/4 cup) low-sodium beef broth or stock (or substitute your favorite Mexican beer)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (don’t drain)
1 bay leaf
Stubb’s Hatch Chile Finishing Sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Tortillas, flour or corn, warmed
Crumbled Mexican cotija cheese (substitute Feta cheese)
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Rinse, dry and cut the meat. In a bowl, toss together with the seasoned flour and remove, shaking off the excess.
Pour enough oil in a large saute pan to lightly coat the bottom of the pan, then heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add half of the meat in a single layer in the pan and sear the meat on at least two sides (about a minute per side). Remove from pan to a plate or bowl and repeat with the rest of the floured meat. Set seared meat aside.
Lower the heat to medium. If necessary, add a little more oil to the pot and saute the onion, bell peppers, and spice pack. Stirring often, cook until the vegetables just begin to soften, then and add the garlic and tomato paste, stirring to fully incorporate. Let cook for a few more minutes.
Add the browned beef to the slow cooker, then pour in the sauteed vegetables, Cookin’ Sauce, broth, and tomatoes with their liquid, and the bay leaf. Cook on the low heat setting for 10-11 hours, or the high heat setting for 5-6 hours. Stir in the Finishing Sauce. (Note: for a spicier sauce, use all of the Finishing Sauce; use half the pack for a milder sauce.)
Optional: To thicken the “gravy” sauce, remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Cook the sauce in the slow cooker uncovered for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with warmed tortillas, cotija cheese, cilantro and lime wedges.