Hispanic Kitchen

Spice It Up!

Mami's Carne Guisada (Mom's Puerto Rican Beef Stew)

For this dish, we start with the basic “sofrito.” Sofrito is the base seasoning for most of Puerto Rican cooking.

ajices dulce (little sweet peppers)
green pepper

*A leaf used in Caribbean cooking. You can substitute it with cilantro (coriander).
Everything that you see in the picture you blend with the exception of the laurel leaves. You can store in fridge, or as I do by filling a ice tray and after freezing put the cubes in a baggie.


Above, the basic ingredients for Puerto Rica sofrito. Below: the result of mixing these wonderful herbs and peppers.

Beef Stew ingredients:

2½ – 3 lbs. Angus beef cut in about 1-inch cubes
½ cup sofrito
2 teaspoons of vinegar
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce – 2 cans water
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 carrots peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
3 potatoes peeled and cut in cubes
24 Spanish olives with pimentos*
4 tablespoons of capers*
2 laurel leaves
½ cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
*In some stores you can find a product by Goya called Alcaparrado which has the olives and caper mix.


Cut onions in small dice and crush the 3 cloves of garlic. In a casserole, heat the olive oil and add onions, garlic then the meat. Brown the meat, add the sofirto, laurel leaves, vinegar, tomato sauce and water. Cover and at medium flame cook for about 1-1/2 hours. During this time you can check and stir meat a few times.

Add carrots, olives, capers and simmer for another hour. Check the meat. By this time it should be fork tender. At this time add the potatoes. Once potatoes have cooked, you can add the peas and let rest.

This actually took about 3 hours. Now I know why Mami used her pressure cooker. I am deathly afraid of pressure cookers as I had a pretty bad accident years ago and my whole kitchen was splattered with black beans … not a pretty site.

I served the Carne Guisada with white rice and sweet plantain mash.

This time it’s not ¡Buen Provecho! It’s “Come, come que la comida se enfría” (eat, eat, the food is getting cold) her favorite saying.

November 11, 1924 – August 7, 2008... Mami and me eons ago.



More recipes by Norma:

Frijoles Negros (Black Beans)
Surullitos de Maiz con Mayoketchup and Bacalaitos Fritos
Piña Colada Flan
Chicken Empanadas
Barriguitas de Vieja
Piñón (Puerto Rican Lasagna)
Arroz con Gandules y Chorizo (Rice with Green Pigeon Peas + Spanish...
Supercharged Coquito (with Bacardi 151)

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Tags: alcaparrado, carne, carne guisada, onions, oregano, recao, recipe, sofrito, thyme


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Comment by Sherry Ortiz on July 2, 2014 at 9:45am

I made this last night for dinner and it was great! I normally don't use peas in my original carne guisada but it was really good.  Thanks for sharing your mother's recipe.  She was such a stunning woman, God Bless her!!

Comment by Martha Hernandez on June 2, 2014 at 4:43am

Your mother was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your family and wonderful memories with us. I wish I had seen your blog because I love that you share not only great recipes, but also so much personal history and family love. This recipe, Carne Guisada, sounds delish! As it varies from my Cuban, Carne con  Papa, I can't wait to try it and especially serve it to my daughter, who's a great fan of con Papa/Guisada and very pregnant..LOL! Basically, the idea behind both recipes is similar, some of the ingridients vary and of course, the sofrito has some different ingredients. Can't wait to try this. 

PS I am also greatly (actually to death) afraid of pressure cookers altthough I'd love to have one. I witnessed someone's erupting at the early stage of cooking and the beans, like bullets, shot off and embedded themselves in the cieling! Now, some 15 years later, I am checking into the modern eletric ones with much higher safety features. From what I've read so far they appear to be super safe. Again, thank you for all you share and as I like to say, Happy Cooking!! <3 <3

Comment by Lydia Alvarez-Serrano on May 3, 2012 at 2:47pm

This recipe differs from mine only in the fact that i never added vinegar or peas. Also,i don't add the additional onion because it's already in the sofrito, however,this sounds like ole school cooking @ it's finest, and although i'm an excellent cook, (so i've been told by family and friends) there is always room for improvement! Oh,and the mashed amarillo is a nice little touch..it all looks so beautiful and delish!! Your mom was a beautiful woman..god bless her soul!! <3<3  ;)

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on May 3, 2012 at 8:05am

I have been wanting to purchase a pressure cooker, but they scare me too! ha ha ha...i watched my Tia cook in one almost everyday while i was in Mexico...not sure, though...:)

Comment by Sonia Mendez Garcia on May 3, 2012 at 8:02am

Norma...thank you for sharing your Mami's recipe....what  beautiful pictures....warms my heart. Cannot wait to try this recipe....

Comment by Leslie Ann Vivian Longoria on May 2, 2012 at 7:53pm

This looks sooooo yummy. Your Momma is very beautiful. Love this. saving it.

Comment by Ligia Vargas on April 3, 2012 at 9:37pm

Your Mom was beautiful.  The recipe is similar to how my Mom and I make it as well, PR style but w/o the sweet plantain mash.

Comment by Susana on May 31, 2011 at 6:50pm
That looks delicious, I'm sure your mom was a great cook.
Comment by Anita Perez-Santiago on May 24, 2011 at 10:50pm
Love the sweet plantain mash in the middle...beautiful touch!

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