This delicious, authentic recipe for Puerto Rican carne guisada is a hearty beef stew that features lots of Caribbean flavors. Savory chunks of beef are simmered in a rich gravy until it is melt-in-your-mouth tender. This is Puerto Rican comfort food at its best!
When the weather gets cold, I crave low and slow cooked meals, like this Carne Guisada. Puerto Rican beef stew is one of my mom’s specialties, I always got super excited whenever she said this was on the menu. Good carne guisada is like a warm belly hug, full of deliciously tender meat, potatoes, carrots and plenty of Latin spices. This is a dish that requires some patience, but the wait is definitely worth it. You’ll need a few Puerto Rican staples for this recipe, like adobo, sazon and sofrito; they’re essential flavor components in this dish.
What Is Puerto Rican Carne Guisada?
Carne guisada is a beef stew that is native to many parts of Latin America. It translates to “stewed meat”, and typically refer to tougher cuts of beef that are cooked in a flavorful broth until it’s fork tender. The distinctive flavors of this Puerto Rican version comes from sofrito/recaito. Sofrito is a cooking base used in Puerto Rican cuisine. It’s a blend of vegetables and herbs like garlic and recao (culantro) that gives every dish a punch of distinctly Puerto Rican flavor.
What Are The Best Cuts Of Beef For Puerto Rican Carne Guisada?
I typically pick up the packet of meat that says “stew meat” and is already conveniently diced up. Beef stew meat typically comes from the large shoulder of a cow, more commonly called “chuck”. But roast, top and bottom round, tips, and even steak can be used as stew meat. If using a large chunk of meat, you’ll need to cut the beef into 1-inch cubes.
Can I Omit The Red Wine?
Yes, you can! If you prefer not to use alcohol in this dish, you can substitute with the same quantity of low sodium beef broth or stock, or even water. Don’t use red cooking wine, it will just concentrate the funky flavors and make the dish bitter. Use a good quality red wine that you’d like to drink, like a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.
My Broth Is Watery, How Do I Thicken It?
The broth won’t be super thick, but if you’d like to thicken it more, just cook your stew, uncovered, until it’s reduced to your preference. You can also thicken it by adding a slurry, which is just an equal mixture of corn starch and cold water. Pour the slurry into the broth to thicken. Start with 1 tablespoon of corn starch + 1 tablespoon of water, and add more if needed.
What To Serve With Puerto Rican Carne Guisada?
Serve the carne guisada with white rice, tostones and an avocado salad.
Want more Puerto Rican stew recipes?
- Pollo Guisado (Puerto Rican Chicken Stew)
- Asopao De Pollo (Puerto Rican Chicken & Rice Stew)
- Sopa De Pollo Con Mofongo (Puerto Rican Chicken Soup)
- Bacalao Guisado (Stewed Cod Fish)
- Garbanzos Guisados (Puerto Rican Stewed Chickpeas)
- Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)
Carne Guisada (Puerto Rican Beef Stew)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 1/2 lbs chuck or round roast, cut into 1/2" cubes or other stew meat
- 2 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
- 1/4 cup sofrito
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2 teaspoons Sazon seasoning with annatto
- 1 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
- 32 oz. box unsalted beef broth
- 1/3 cup dry red wine like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce low sodium is best
- 3 dried bay leaves or 1 fresh
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or dried oregano
- 10 pimento stuffed olives
- 1 cup carrot, sliced into thick rings
- 1 cup diced potatoes
- 1-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar apple cider vinegar works too!
Season the beef cubes with 2 teaspoons of Adobo.
Heat a Dutch oven to medium heat, then add the olive oil.
In 2-3 batches, sear the beef for 3-5 minutes per side, in order to get some nice browning on the outside.
Once the beef is browned, remove from the pan and set it aside.
Add the onions and sofrito to the pan.
Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the brown bits.
Next, add the Sazon, powdered chicken bouillon, beef broth, red wine, tomato sauce, bay leaves and Italian seasoning.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the beef back in.
Stir, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook the carne guisada for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Next, add the potatoes, carrots, and olives, then cook for 30 minutes more.
When the carrots and potatoes are tender, the carne guisada is done.
Stir in the vinegar, then check the stew for seasoning.
If it needs more salt, add a little bit more powdered chicken bouillon (this stuff is super salty, so use sparingly).
Serve with white rice, tostones and a salad.
Your recipe is the best for carne guisada. I did use red cooking wine and a little bit of grape juice to neutralize the bitterness of red cooking wine, also added 1/4 of small can of sweet corn. My husband loved it. Thank you very much for taking the time to share so delicious recipe.
OMG YESSSS !!!! this is it for sure mama, my family loves it ugh its so tender and savory <3 thank you so much lol
Can I substitute with pork shoulder/butt? If so is the cooking time the same?
I’m sure you could, haven’t tested it though so I can’t tell you if the cook time would change.
My mom has been making this stew for our family my whole life, its my younger brother’s favorite meal and every time I try to make it using her instructions/direction and the guidance of the ancestors (cause you know they don’t use “exact” measurements) it just doesn’t come out the way she makes it. BUT THIS RECIPE AND IN THESE INSTRUCTIONS RIGHT HERE!!!! MIJA!!!!!! GRACIAS!!!!!
This came out perfect! I followed the instructions, for the most part, I left out the olives, but it was absolutely perfect. The taste was everything!!! The instructions easy to follow and you have now changed my life forever. Thank you.
I subscribed to your website and I can’t wait to try my hand at other recipes.
Would it be 2 1/2 hours in a crockpot? I really want to try it in my new one. Ive never used one before so I’m not sure!
I haven’t made this recipe with the slow cooker so I can’t confirm the time and temp requirements.
Soft, delicious, flavorful and absolutely amazing! Great recipe. I paired it with yellow rice and fried dough, also known as “Jonny Cake” in the Virgin Islands. My family enjoyed it and would definitely make it again. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
I made the carne guisada came out delicious. But one thing the meat was kind of dry and I don’t know what I did wrong.
What kind of meat did you use? If you use something that’s too lean that will happen.
Wow, wow, wow…I am from the Canary Islands, Spain and this is exactly the way we prepare papas con carne there. This recipe is sooooo good. I love your recipes. Thank you for sharing them with us. Muchas gracias!!!
Amazing! I subbed yuca for potato, and omitted the wine! My whole family loved this! Doubling the recipe next time! Eating this for breakfast as I type this! Delicious!
I like your style.
I love this recipe, anytime of the year, I’ve been making it for like the last 3 years, im currently on keto diet so I’m leaving out the potatoes. Also I’m going to see if it will make cauliflower rice taste good, which I’m pretty sure it will.
Have you ever put beans or chickpeas of any kind in the recipe? I’m british with a puerto rican husband I like to embrace his culture xx
Garbanzos would be lovely.
i followed the recipe but left out sofrito n olives….i even added more sazon but for some reason the stew didnt seem to have the flavor of spanish stew ive bought many places. did it it in a slow cooker, 4 hrs. did i do something wrong? i make reg beef stew which comes out great n obv thicker due to use of flour. idk if i missed something. my son doesnt like sofrito but is it what makes the flavor? plz help! meat was tender n i used spanish rice. thanks
Authentic and delicious! Tastes just like the restaurants. This is my go-to site for authentic Puerto Rican recipes.
Loved the recipe! I actually substituted the carrots for butternut squash, since calabaza is not available. The sweet with the salty background is AMAZING!
Perfect! I was wondering what I can substitute carrot’s for and you answered my question. Thank you
Do you have a recipe for puerto rican beef stew to make in a crock pot?
I haven’t made this recipe in a crockpot, but if you try it, let me know how it turns out.
I tried this for the first times over the weekend and my family loved it
Holy crap this is the best stew ive ever eaten and i LOVE beef stew. This recipe tastes EXACTLY like my mother in law use to make. Its absolutely fantastic (I didnt use red wine.) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!!!
can this be done in a slow cooker?
It can be made in a slow cooker and tastes amazing but I like it best on the stovetop- a lot less liquid and heartier. We’re on the west coast and our family is all on the east so we missed this dish terribly and couldn’t get it quite right till we found you! This recipe is amazing, thank you so much for sharing it!
I’ve made this a few times on the stove too and it was a hit every time but I’m in a crunch for time. Do you know what the timing for the meat would be and then adding in the potatoes and carrots after or cooking it all at one time?
You can use a pressure cooker but I have not tested the recipe with it.
Tested it today and it worked! Do the 1st steps in the instant pot on sauté, when ready to put the meat back in close the lid and set to manual pressure for 45 min. When the Instant pot turns off, do a quick release and put the carrots and potatoes in for 3-5 min on high pressure. Once complete quick release again, add olives and cilantro. Had a lot of juice, so you can likely reduce the liquid amount or do the cornstarch slurry as you mentioned! Thanks for a great easy recipe!
Great to hear!
I can’t wait to try some of your recipes. I have the fondest memories from childhood eating PR arroz con gandules at my girlfriend’s home. I tried making it myself once. I bought achiote on the seeds. I didn’t know I had to put them in oil to get the spice off and then discard the seeds. I just put gobs of the seeds right in my rice. Needless to say it was overly strong and inedible, and had to be tossed. I’m so glad folks are willing to share their knowledge and recipes so we can all learn and enjoy delicious food.
I wish your recipes printed with a photo. You have great photos of the dishes. Thanks.
Amazing recipe! I used white wine vinegar instead of red. Added a few slices of jalapeño peppers, and a sprinkle of cayenne to spice it up. Yummy!
Our sofrito is in ice cube trays, frozen. We just replenished our supply only yesterday evening! Your recipe calls for 1/4 cup Sofrito. Would that be two cubes?
Yes I do the same thing, 2 cubes is perfect.
Hi, let me start by saying this recipe was DELICIOUS! I cooked it twice so far. I used a regular pot, used cheap $1.99 cooking red wine because I didn’t pay attention and added extra onion and potato! Other than that followed exactly. Super easy, clean up was a breeze and so good. The left overs, which it was only some because it was 2 of us was sooo good as well! Your website is amazing, keep posting girl lol.
Thank you Dee!
Very simple to follow and turned out delicious and authentic. Reminded me of my moms Spanish cooking. Thanks!
thanks for the recipe but I was wondering what could I use if I don’t have beef stock
You can use chicken or vegetable stock or broth, or even water.
I don’t have red wine vinegar. Can i use a different kind? I have white & apple cider vinegar.
I used red cooking wine is it gonna come out nasty?? Ugh I wish I would of read the comments before making it
Don’t worry it will be fine!
Like all recipes very much
Is there a version you can make in less time? Less than 2 hours?
You can use a pressure cooker to reduce the cook time.
Can this recipe be halved?
Delicioso! I’ve tried cooking carne guisada previously using the recipe I half remembered from my childhood. This meat came out butter tender and the flavor is simply original. My family loved it. Thank you very much!
Can you use different steak? I only have cube steak?
Yes you can!
Excellent! Love Puerto Rican food. This is a keeper!
can you make this in a pressure cooker as well from @ruby_eleni
Yes you can. I don’t have exact timing, so if you try it let me know!
It’s Monday and my family can’t wait to have this again! I’ve made it several times now after years of not having it because my attempts were epic fails lol. Your recipe is wonderful, thank you for sharing and God bless you!
This came out AMAZING! My husband grew up in PR and he was in heaven eating this alongside some tostones. This dish intimidated me at first but your recipe was easy to follow and delicious.
If I wanted more liquid in the end for poring over rice how much water/liquid can I add before diluting the flavor?
Thanks for the comment! You can definitely add more beef broth to add additional liquid near the end of cooking if you like.
Best beef stew recipe ever. Made a double batch for my family visiting from California and my sister said this was the best spanish beef stew she ever had. So good
How long would you cook this in a crock pot ?
I would guess 4 hours on high or 8 on low.
do i use cilantro based sofrito for the green one ?
Yes, I used green Sofrito (recaito) for all my Puerto Rican recipes.
I bought the sofrito orange / red one ( Goya bottle) you think that would be okay? I say the green recaito version next to the red bottle but I thought that was the wrong one.
Either one works!
Great. Thank you. Going to make this tonight!
this has been my go-to for a couple of years now for potlucks. everyone raves and requests this dish all the time. thank you for sharing!
That’s awesome Riz, thanks so much!
Amazing!! Just tweeked it a bit by adding diced tomatoes – Thank You!!
Can you name list of wines good for cooking red, white?
I like using dry like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for reds, as well as Pinto Grigio or Chardonnay for white.
It was absolutely delicious!!!! He loved it!!! I am definitely keeping this!!!
So glad you and your hubby enjoyed the recipe Sue!
Trying this out tonight….sadly I didn’t read the comments and did substitute the red wine for cooking wine. My husband is Hispanic and has been craving this dish and there are no restaurants around us that serve this. Thank you so much for this recipe. I will comment on how much he enjoys it when it’s done!
Do you put it over the rice? Or rice on the side?
Either option works!
If I don’t use the red wine will the recipe still come good?
Yes you can just substitute the wine with more broth.
I like my dad used welches grape juice….it works too like a wine substitute.
Yes, my dad uses grape juice too!
Can you make it with beef stew meat?
Yes you can!
This recipe sounds amazing!!! I am making it for my family tonight!!! I can’t wait to taste it!
Thanks Christine! Enjoy!
Can I omit the dry red wine or use red cooking wine found in supermarket instead?
You can substitute wine with more broth but I wouldn’t use cooking wine. Never cook with something you wouldn’t drink.
Okay great! thank you so much for your reply and tip. I’ll be making this tonight!
I used my pressure cooker and it has come out awesome all 4 times! 20 mins w/ rocker going gently, then did quick cool by running water over pot, added carrots, potatoes & olives, re-sealed and brought back to a gently rock for 5 mins. The flavor was great and it was so tender. My husband is Puerto Rican and said it was super good!
Thank you so much!
I make this for my husband and he LOVES it! I serve it with rice and tostones…it’s always a hit!
So glad you enjoy this recipe, thanks so much!
I dont have any beef broth. Can I still make it?
Yes you can substitute with water
What size Dutch oven did you use, I would Like to double the recipe, I have a 7 quart Dutch Oven, is that big enough to double it ?
Thats about the same size I use, you should be able to double the recipe in it: I had plenty of room in the pot.
Thank You so much 🙂
This recipe is truly incredible. I have made it so many times over the last 2 years and is a hit every time. Because I have small kids who can taste the red wine I omit it, but follow the rest as is (I do use the red wine vinegar at the end). It is sooooo good. My mom thinks it’s better than hers!!
What if i dont have a dutch oven can i use a regular deep pot?
Yes you can!
Can i omit the cooking wine? Will it taste just as good?
Yes you can omit and just sub with additional beef broth/stock.
This was AMAZING! I’m Puerto Rican & sadly have failed on so many recipes lol. I made this last night & my boyfriend loved it!
That’s awesome Kaiti, so glad you enjoyed the recipe! It’s a family secret!
My husband is PR and I am Mexican so we have very different ways of cooking. But your recipes help us both feel at ease when it comes to cooking.. your recipes always come out amazing AND I love to read the comments and hear about the different things people have tried. It helps me be creative at not serving the same dish every time. Or how to accommodate other food needs like keto. This is an amazing discussion board and. Recipes!
This is great. However, should I have added water after the 2 hours if I noticed it was low in liquid?
Hi Ruth, yes if the liquid level gets too low, you can add water or broth and adjust your seasoning accordingly.
This was amazing! Just like grandmas cooking 😉
This was so delicious! Perfect for a rainy day!
Glad you loved it Nancy!