Carne Guisada (Puerto Rican Beef Stew)
Carne guisada (Puerto Rican beef stew) is one of my favorite cozy meals and a great way to introduce Puerto Rican cuisine into your cooking routine. Using the McBride Sisters Collection Red Wine Blend, I wanted to showcase the familiar flavors of this hearty stew with sofrito, sazón, and a little twist.
Cook time: 1.5 hours | Serves: 4-6
- 1 1/2lb beef stew meat, cut into equal-sized chunks
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil, more as needed
- 3 tbsp Simple Sofrito (follow the link for the full recipe)
- 1 roasted red pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tbsp homemade sazón spice blend (see note)
- 1/2 tbsp homemade adobo spice blend (see note)
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 large fresh oregano brujo leaves, whole (optional, see note)
- 1 cup McBride Sisters Collection Red Wine Blend
- 4 cups unsalted beef stock or water
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 4 baby gold potatoes, large dice
- 2 large carrots, peeled and large dice
- Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- Steamed white rice, for serving
Note: I prefer to make my sazón and adobo spice blends at home, so I’m able to control the amount of salt. If you prefer to use store-bought, that’s totally fine! Just make sure to adjust the amount while tasting to avoid over-salting the stew. Start with a small amount and work your way up to your liking. As for the fresh oregano brujo, it’s also known as Mexican mint or Cuban oregano. In Puerto Rico, it’s often used in sofrito and other savory applications (and even medicinal uses) for its strong, herbal flavor. If you can’t find it at your local stores, simply omit or substitute with a few fresh oregano sprigs.
1. Season the beef stew meat with the kosher salt, making sure to toss them together and fully coat. Set aside and let the meat come close to room temperature for better searing (cold meat doesn’t sear evenly when cooking).
2. In a large Dutch oven or pot, add the oil and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, sear meat in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Once the meat is heavily browned on each side, set it aside in a clean bowl. Repeat this process for the rest of the beef.
3. Next, sauté the sofrito in the same pot, scraping up the browned bits of the bottom. Stir in the roasted red pepper, tomato paste, sazón, adobo, and bay leaves. Cook the sofrito mixture for about 4-5 minutes, once you’re able to scrape the pot and leave an empty trail behind the spoon, pour in the McBride Sisters Collection Red Wine Blend. Stir to fully combine and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour in the unsalted beef stock or water. Season with black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking and then add the reserved partially cooked beef and its juices. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Stir the stew and then add the diced potatoes and carrots. Cover again, turning the heat down to low, and simmer for another 40 minutes or until the meat is fork-tender and the vegetables are cooked through. Stir in the chopped cilantro right before serving. Spoon the beef stew over cooked white rice and enjoy with a glass of McBride Sisters Collection Red Wine Blend. ¡Buen provecho!