The RV Chronicles — Ain’t no wall around the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Carne Guisada)

My relationship with food always seems to change when I travel. Though my intentions are to branch out, I tend to return home with a strong craving for the basics.

It happened again this past week after a few days of honing my (PR) craft in the Texas Hill Country.

Long story short, I went out on a limb at a food truck and ordered a hot dog topped with carne guisada. The translation for carne guisada is stewed beef, but our friends south of the border do it a little differently than what we’re used to.

The classic homemade carne guisada includes cubed beef, a handful of spices, tomato sauce and water. Some restaurants in northern Mexico and the southern U.S. have, over the years, added tomatoes and peppers. Either way, this Mexican beef stew is homey, delicious and – made properly – just thick enough that the thickened broth can be sopped with a tortilla. Carne guisada is just as commonly served alongside (or atop) rice as it is used to stuff a burrito.

As a hot dog topper, though?

Well, I gobbled it down like it was my last meal. But when it was said and done, I was left with a yearning for the classic version.

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Carne Guisada (Stewed Beef)

Carne Guisada — This is how beef is stewed in Mexico

Carne Guisada — This Mexican Beef stew is homey, filling and downright delicioso.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Carne Guisada
Carne Guisada — This is how beef is stewed in Mexico
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 2 lbs – Beef stew meat, seasoned with 2 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups – Beef stock
  • 1 – Medium onion, diced
  • 1 – Dried ancho chile, stemmed, seeded and torn into 4-5 pieces
  • 1 cup – Salsa
  • ¼ cup – All-purpose flour
  • 3 TB – Bacon fat (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp – Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp – Cumin
  1. Over medium high heat in a small stockpot or Dutch oven, brown stew meat (in 2-3 batches) in bacon fat or oil; set aside.
  2. Place onions in reserved fat/oil and cook until browned around the edges, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add flour, stirring to combine, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add beef stock, salsa, oregano, cumin, ancho and browned beef back to the pan, stirring to combine; bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover with lid slightly propped, and cook over low heat until meat is tender and sauce has thickened, about 2½ hours*.
  6. Serve over rice, or serve in warmed flour tortillas with rice, avocados and cilantro.
*-If sauce has not thickened to a similar consistency as stew, remove lid entirely and cook on a simmer until sauce has reduced to desired consistency.



  1. I have everything to make this today – and I’ll be adding peppers 😉 Looks awesome, Holland!

  2. Wow Adam that looks and sounds wonderful. I need me some Carne Guisada. And I’ve never heard of it. I remember a German Restaurant when were were Tx. hill country. Where was that food truck when I needed it? 😉

    • adamjholland says:

      Imagine that.. A German restaurant in the Texas Hill Country. 😉 It wasn’t Oma’s Haus, by chance, was it?

  3. Ummm, yes please! I love Carne Guisada. Although not traditional, I actually throw in some small diced potatoes. I can only imagine how excited you were to find a hot dog with this on it! HA!

    • adamjholland says:

      It would surprise me if there weren’t more than a handful of cooks in Mexico who didn’t toss in some taters. (And, I was excited indeed!)

  4. Love you Carne guisada recipe!! this dish is a fix meal every other meal, my recipe is slightly different, but I am sure going to try yours!

  5. This looks so good – I generally use Ribeye instead of stew meat so I think it would be a good sub in for this too, don’t you think? If so, I have everything I need to make it for tomorrow night’s supper!

    • adamjholland says:

      Ribeye is better than any other cut on the beef cow. And it’s funny that you mention this because we were talking at work today about cheap cuts (bottom round, brisket, etc.) and how they taste really good when cooked low and slow.

      • Today is the day my friend – it’s cloudy and rainy and a good bowl of this tonight with some cornbread will be certainly warm and comforting!

        • adamjholland says:

          It will be for sure, Kelli. Enjoy!

          • It is perfect. I decided to taste in order to see if it needed salt – a bowl and 3 tortillas later, I have declared this a clear winner for the week of suppers and it’s only Monday!! My gosh it’s one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth………..the 2 ribeye steaks were fantastic!

          • adamjholland says:

            So, you used ribeye in this, as you previously threatened? 😉

  6. I see pure comfort written all over this.

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