Loaded with melty cheese and tender potatoes, this Mexican carne guisada in a homemade blended sauce has “new favorite recipe” written all over it. Served with corn or flour tortillas, it is a healthy, flavorful Mexican stew that the while family will enjoy!
Why You’ll Love This Carne Guisada Recipe
Tender beef and potatoes are simmered in a spicy tomato-based salsa with creamy Chihuahua cheese stirred in at the end to create this comforting Carne Guisada. Ready in under an hour, here are a few things we love about this authentic dish:
- Easy. If you can blend a sauce and cook diced potatoes, you’re going to be very successful with this simple recipe.
- Prep-friendly. You can make the sauce and chop the ingredients a day in advance to give you a head-start before you start cooking.
- Authentic. This is one of those lesser-known Mexican recipes that is packed with lots of authentic flavors from the homemade salsa, warm spices and Chihuahua cheese. Made all from scratch, you will love the depth of flavor in this authentic dish.
- Healthy. It’s not a kale salad, but the homemade salsa (and potatoes) pack plenty of veggies and nutrients.
What Is Carne Guisada?
There are different recipes for carne guisada throughout Mexico, but this one comes from the north. It consists of tender beef strips simmered in a tomato-based salsa. For extra flavor, spices like oregano, cumin, coriander, and paprika are often added. To make the dish extra hearty, there’s also diced potatoes and melty cheese in it.
Served in flour or corn tortillas, it makes the perfect breakfast burrito or tacos. You can also serve it for lunch or dinner.
This is a 2-in-1 recipe because you also learn how to make a yummy salsa. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
For the Sauce
- Heirloom Tomatoes: You can also use roma tomatoes.
- Jalapeño: If you want to triple the heat, you can use serrano chiles instead.
- Garlic Cloves: You can also use 4 teaspoons of garlic powder, however fresh garlic will give you the best flavor.
- White Onion: Feel free to use yellow onion.
- Dried Mexican Oregano: Italian oregano is okay in a pinch.
- Ground Cumin
- Dried Coriander
- Ground Black Pepper
For the Beef
- Potato: Use your favorite kind. It can be peeled or unpeeled.
- Vegetable Oil: Corn and canola oil work too.
- Beef: Thinly sliced beef.
- Ground Black Pepper
- Chihuahua Cheese: Oaxaca cheese is a good swap.
What Type of Beef Should I Use?
Thinly sliced beef from cuts like top sirloin, tenderloin, strip loin, and ribeye are perfect for this recipe. Don’t use cuts that are meant for stewing like chuck, brisket, or beef skirt. They are too tough and with the shorter cook time, they will not become tender in time.
How To Make Carne Guisada
In just a few simple steps, you will have a hot pot filled with flavorful Mexican Carne Guisada! For full recipe directions, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Blister: Place the tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, and onion in a large griddle over medium-high heat and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until charred all over.
- Blend: Add all of the charred veggies to the blender. Add the oregano, cumin, ground coriander, salt, and pepper. Process it until you get a smooth mixture.
- Cook Potatoes: Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe container and cover with water. Microwave for 6-7 minutes. Strain the potatoes.
- Brown The Potatoes: Add oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook them for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
- Add Beef: Add the beef to the pan and let it cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer: Pour in the blended sauce and stir to combine. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add Cheese: Stir the cheese into the pan. Let it melt completely. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve immediately.
Tips for Success
Follow these tips to add more flavor and simplify your life at the same time:
- Use your butcher. If you are unable to find thinly sliced steak, ask your butcher to help you slice the meat into thin strips. This will help you can cut down on precious prep time.
- Add leftover cheese. Dice all your melty cheese leftovers like Muenster, mozzarella, and cheddar, and add them into the recipe as usual to reduce food waste.
- Go for store-bought. When you’re in a rush, substitute the homemade salsa for your favorite store-bought one. You’ll need about 3-4 cups. It’s a lifesaver!
- Add veggies. Dice 1 medium zucchini and 2 medium carrots. Sauté them over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes before cooking the potatoes. Continue with the recipe as usual. This way you can add more veggies to each bite!
- Make it spicy. Add a chile de arbol (or two!) to the mixture as it simmers and stir occasionally. The chiles will release their spice and you’ll love the kick of heat they add. Or you can substitute the jalapeño for serrano peppers.
The answers to these questions will help you understand what carne guisada is, isn’t, and how to avoid common pitfalls.
Carne guisada is a sautéed beef dish that can have many different preparations because the name simply means cooked beef, whereas carne asada is grilled steak only.
Mexican carne guisada comes from the northern states, where stews and saucy beef recipes are super popular. It doesn’t originate from any one place because it’s an entire food culture up north.
Simmering the stew for longer will help the sauce reduce and thicken. The melty cheese should also give the sauce a thicker consistency. However, if you’d like to make it even thicker, you can make a cornstarch slurry by whisking together 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the slurry as the mixture simmers. Cook the recipe as usual.
Carne guisada can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s best with Homemade Corn Tortillas for tacos or Mexican Bolillos for dipping into the sauce. To make the meal more filling, add a side of Mexican Rice, Nopales Asados, or Refried Beans.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Once fully cooled, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds, stir it, and microwave it for another 30 seconds or up to a minute. You can also heat it in a pan over medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t freeze well. The sauce and cheese can separate once thawed.
More Mexican Recipes
- Nopales Asados Tacos
- Restaurant Style Salsa
- Instant Pot Cochinita Pibil
- Camarones al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)
- Chilaquiles Rojos
Mexican Carne Guisada Recipe
For the Sauce:
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes, or roma tomatoes
- 1 small jalapeño
- 2 large garlic cloves
- ½ small white onion
- ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried coriander
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Beef:
- 1 large potato, diced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound thinly sliced beef
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup diced Chihuahua cheese
- Place the tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, and onion in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until charred all over. (You can also do this in the oven under a broiler.)
- Add all of the charred veggies, oregano, cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper to a blender. Process it until you get a smooth mixture. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Set it aside.
- Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe container. Cover them with water. Microwave for 7 minutes. Strain the potatoes and set them aside.
- Add the vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the potatoes and stir. Let the potatoes cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
- Add the beef to the pan and let it cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until browned. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Pour in the blended sauce and stir to combine. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir the cheese into the pot. Let it melt completely. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
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