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Monday, June 4, 2012

#Beer Carne Guisada Recipe with @UncleBillys Baltic Porter

I'm weird.  Yes, I am.  I do not judge a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant by their tacos. *GASP!*  I judge based on carne guisada.  Growing up on the Southern coast of Texas, I had my fair share of carne guisada, and like many other ethnic dishes, everyone has their own opinion and version of it.

Here's my personal, possibly completely unauthentic recipe for beer carne guisada.  I do not add potatoes to my recipe, though you could.  This is the way I like it.

I did have a few tweaks when I made this particular batch.  Uncle Billy's was out of the Smoked Baltic Porter.  I tend to be pickier when it comes to cooking with beer.  Cooking with the wrong beer can sometimes lead to excessively hoppy meals.  I was also too lazy to peel and chop garlic so I used some bacon fat confit garlic I had in the fridge.  Slow cook whole garlic cloves in bacon fat to make your own confit.  *Salt and pepper to taste as you please.  The supertaster in me tends to be easy on the salt. 
2-3 lbs ribeye
2 medium onions, diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Olive oil
2 cups beer - I used Uncle Billy's Smoked Baltic Porter
45 oz canned tomatoes - I use several cans of the fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 jalapeños, seeded and chopped

1. Sear those ribeye steaks just until they get those grill marks.  Remove the steaks from heat and allow to cool.  Slice the ribeyes into bite sized pieces discarding the excess fat.

2. In a large pot (could be a Dutch oven or soup pot), add a tablespoon of olive oil to coat bottom.  Allow the pot the heat on the stove over medium heat.  Add the chopped garlic, onions, and jalapenos to the pot.  Sautee the garlic and onions until translucent and the jalapeños are soft.  In the photo below, you'll see the bacon fat garlic confit I used instead of the fresh chopped garlic.  The bacon fat garlic confit gives the dish a sweeter, milder, and smokier flavor.

3. Add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne to the pot and allow it to cook and sizzle with the veggies.  Once the spices have filled your kitchen with some awesome aromas, add in the seared and sliced ribeyes.  Give the ingredients a good mixing so that the smoky spices have coated the meat and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes.

4. Add in the beer.  If the beer is "fresh," it ought to foam and bubble up releasing beer and spice aromas.  Add in the tomatoes, and allow the pot to come up to a simmer. You can taste it now and add salt and pepper as needed.  I tend to like my carne really spicy, so beware if you have this dish at my house.

5. At this point, you can add the mixture to a slow-cooker or you can continue to cook on the stove top.  If you decide to use a slow cooker, you'll probably need to leave it for 4-5 hours on medium.  If you cook it on a stove top (be sure to check on it frequently so the bottom doesn't scorch), you'll probably need 2-3 hours on a simmer.  Regardless, cook until the meat is fork tender.

You can serve the carne guisada now, or you can serve it the next day.  Traditionally, it is served with warm tortillas.  I also like to serve it with chopped cilantro.  You might also serve it with traditional Tex-Mex fixing such as rice, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.  It is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day.  You can also freeze it for later.  Now do enjoy my beer carne guisada!

Searing the steaks.

Seared steaks.

Onions and the garlic confit cooking in the pot.

The bottom of my jar of bacon fat garlic confit.  I keep this in the fridge until I need it. 

Sliced, chopped, and ready for the pot.

This is the face that Mouse makes when I'm trimming the meat.  He gets the scraps. 

I've added the beer to the pot.  I should have added the spices by now. 

Here's the canned tomatoes I use.  You can use fresh tomatoes, but to each their own.

Everything is in the pot and it is time for the simmer. 

I took this particular batch to a stew party.  There was Irish style stew, American stew, boeuf bourguignon (French made with red wine), and my carne guisada. 

Another shot of the stews.


  1. I, too, am a carne-guisada judger, and I'm looking forward to trying your version (because this small town out here just doesn't have good carne guisada, darnit!)

  2. As much as I love a good carne guisada, a great mole will always win my heart.

    I might experiment with this recipe to see if I can turn out an onion and garlic free version that my onion/garlic loving spouse won't complain about. :-)

  3. This sounds awesome. On the menu for this weekend for sure. So nice to meet you at Cupcakes & Cocktails tonight.