Carne guisada

I LOVE Mexican food (both the interior variety and our native Tex-Mex). Generally I’m more of a taco/fajita/asada guy, but I recently read a recipe for carne guisada on the Homesick Texan’s website and figured I’d give it a whirl. For me, any slow-cooked meal can usually be pulled off with whatever ingredients and spices you have in the pantry without having to make a special trip to the grocery store, except for maybe your main ingredient (a roast). I didn’t follow a recipe here, instead I just threw everything into the crackpot and let the roast cook low and slow overnight. I’ve always scoffed at the crockpot, but nowadays, it’s hard not to be an advocate.

Here’s my recipe for my first attempt at carne guisada.

4 lb. beef shoulder chuck roast
1 medium yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 ancho pepper
1 chipotle pepper
1 tbsp chile powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 bay leave
4 C beef stock
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil

I stuck the roast in the freezer for a couple hours so it would be easier to trim and slice (trust me on this). While the roast was chilling out, I boiled the beef stock (you can use those bouillon cubes) and steeped the ancho and chipotle for approximately an hour to reconstitute.

I pulled the roast from the freezer and cut it into long (~5-inch) strips and trimmed most of the fat and silverskin. Make sure to leave some fat for flavor. Turn your burner on high and sear all sides of the roast strips (brown the meat so as to seal in flavor and get good coloring. You don’t want that gray, slow seared color) is a pan. Transfer seared beef strips to crockpot.

Dice onions and garlic and sauté until translucent in the pan drippings. Then I literally just dumped everything else (except the flour) into the crockpot, gave it a quick stir, covered and cooked on low overnight (10 p.m. until 8 a.m.).

I tasted it this morning and YUM! Oh yeah, I added the flour this morning – maybe 4 heaping tablespoons and stirred it in really well. In hindsight, I should have used beer and some combination of green peppers as well (poblanos and jalapenos are definitely on the list for next time). Cilantro would also be a welcome addition.

Prep time was maybe 30 minutes, and the taste of a good roast cooked low and slow overnight leaves nothing to be desired!

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