Welcome to the quickest Carne Guisada recipe on the internet. Most recipes call for hours of simmering but this one is ready in 30 minutes yet sacrifices absolutely none of that rich beefy flavor. With simple ingredients and just a few spices, you'll have a delicious dinner on the table in no time.
This Tex-Mex style Carne Guisada features juicy sirloin steak smothered in a thick, rich Mexican-spiced beef gravy. If you've never had it before, think of it like a Latin beef stew, only, unlike traditional American stews, this is richer, thicker, and absolutely perfect for dipping warm flour tortillas in. For another smothered recipe to try, bookmark our Smothered Chicken!
This dish is amazing served over cooked white rice, creamy, mashed potatoes, or of course, as Carne Guisada tacos with flour tortillas. Your guests or family will be absolutely thrilled. Promise! And when they ask for more Tex-Mex dinners, be sure to swing back by for our Steak Burritos, Tacos de Barbacoa, or Carne Asada!
Or, step into traditional Mexican cuisine with a delicious soup: Pozole Rojo.
HOW TO MAKE CARNE GUISADA
You will kick off the recipe with 1 or 2 large sirloin steaks. Make sure that your steaks are about 1 inch thick. Pat the steaks dry and cut them into 1-inch cubes using a sharp knife. Transfer the steak cubes to a medium bowl and drizzle with oil. Next, it's all about the spices!
This simple blend of Mexican spices adds so much flavor to this Carne Guisada recipe! You will need ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, Kosher salt, and pepper. Combine the spices in a small bowl, sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the steak, and massage the seasoning into the meat.
For the next step, you will need a large skillet equipped with a lid or an enameled cast iron Dutch oven or braiser. Add a couple tablespoons of oil to the skillet and place it over high heat. The oil you use makes a difference since you will be searing the beef over high heat. It is best to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as avocado or canola, rather than olive oil.
Once the pan and the oil are very hot, add in your beef and sear for about 3 minutes, then turn the cubes and sear for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Once the beef cubes appear brown and crusty, transfer them to a plate and reduce the heat to medium-high. Add in the onion and jalapeño and stir to coat in any remaining oil and juices. If the pan appears dry, add an additional tablespoon of oil. As you are sautéing the vegetables, use a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If you are sensitive to hot peppers, feel free to sub in a green bell pepper for the jalapeños.
Next, you will sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat. Then, add in the beef broth one big splash at a time, stirring after each addition until it is completely incorporated. Do not use salted beef broth, or your Carne Guisada will end up too salty!
Allow the gravy to come to a simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer and add in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, the remaining spice mixture, and a bay leaf.
You might find some recipes out there calling for tomato sauce or a can of diced tomatoes, but we love the powerhouse punch of flavor tomato paste brings to this recipe!
Stir until fully incorporated, and then add the chunks of beef back to the pan, along with any remaining juices. Place the lid slightly ajar and simmer for 10 to 14 minutes, until the beef is cooked to your liking. Sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro and your Carne Guisada is ready!
CAN I USE CHUCK ROAST?
If you'd like, you can absolutely make this Carne Guisada recipe the traditional way! Stewed meat or even a whole chuck roast, cut into cubes, absolutely works with this recipe! The only thing you'll need to change is the cook time!
A chuck roast is a much fattier cut of beef than sirloin, not to mention it also has a good deal of tough connective tissue. Slow cooking is the best way to soften the connective tissue within a chuck roast. As the tissue softens, it melts, releasing fat and juices -- a delicious yet time-consuming process.
If using a chuck roast, you'll make 2 simple changes to this recipe:
- Simmer the beef for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Rather than keeping the lid ajar, you'll cover the pan entirely with the lid!
6 MORE MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Cheese Enchiladas
- Tinga de Pollo
- Tacos de Camaron
- Tacos de Pollo
- Pulled Pork Quesadilla
- Chicken Ranchero
This Carne Guisada recipe is by far the fastest rendition you'll find on the internet, without sacrificing a bit of flavor!
- 2-2 ½ pounds sirloin steak, about 1" thick
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons canola or avocado oil, separated
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 3 jalapenos, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups unsalted or low-sodium beef broth, separated (do not use salted beef broth)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
- Flour tortillas, cooked white rice, or mashed potatoes for serving
Cut the steak (or steaks) into 1" cubes using a sharp knife. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to remove the chill.
In the meantime, add Kosher salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and garlic powder to a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Pat the cubes dry with a paper towel and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and half of the spice mixture. Massage the seasoning into the beef cubes and set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large pan (one you have a lid for) or a Dutch oven over high heat and allow to come to temperature. Sear the cubes in 2 batches. Sear for 3 minutes on one side, then flip and sear 2-3 minutes more. Transfer beef cubes to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the onion and jalapeno. Add an additional tablespoon of oil if the bottom of the pan is dry. Sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat. Add the beef broth one big splash at a time, whisking well after each addition. Allow to simmer and thicken, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, remaining spice mix, and bay leaf. Next, add the beef cubes and any accumulated juices. Adjust your heat to maintain a slow simmer and place the lid slightly ajar. Cook for 10-14 minutes, or until done to your liking.
Sprinkle over the cilantro, if using, and stir. Serve with flour tortillas, over mashed potatoes, or with cooked white rice, and enjoy!