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?
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.