A warm taste of home for South Texans

Carne Guisada is a beef stew that’s great for a crowd or as leftovers in breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs the next morning. On one occasion as we were making this dish, we took a detour in our spice cabinet and found ourselves on the ancient spice trail through the Middle East and wowed ourselves with the results.


  • 3 pounds Beef Sirloin, cut into strips or chunks
  • 3-4 Tbls. Grapeseed or Peanut Oil for searing
  • 1 medium Onion, diced 
  • 1-2 Poblano Chilies, seeded and roasted
  • (optional) 1 Serrano or Jalapeno Chile, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Mushroom Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can Diced Tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 cups Water + 2 tsp. Beef Bouillon Paste
  • 1 – 2 Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (if desired)

South Texas Carne Guisada version:

  • 1 – 2 Tbls. Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbls. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle of dark Mexican beer such as Negro Modelo

Middle Eastern Carne Guisada version:

  • 3-4 tablespoons Za’atar seasoning
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground Cumin
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Coriander
  • Oregano


  1. In a large pot or a Dutch oven, brown the beef on medium high heat in 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil, may have to do in batches.
  2. Remove beef from pot. Reduce heat to medium, add additional oil and saute the onions, jalapeños, and serrano chilies for about 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Return browned beef to the pot, add the cumin, chili powder, oregano, cilantro, bay leaf, tomatoes, water and beer. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 1 to 2 hours, depending on tenderness of meat that you desire. Serve warm over cooked rice or in warmed tortillas. Top with your choice of sliced avocado, crema fresca or sour cream, shredded cheese or chopped fresh cilantro.
  4. This works well in a slow cooker. Change cooking time as needed.

Note: If you prefer a thicker gravy, take 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, stir into it 1 tablespoon of flour and then incorporate this back into the stew. Stir 2 to 3 minutes until the gravy has thickened.

Wine Pairing Guide

Want to know more about how to select the best bottle for your budget? You can find a great bottle at any price range if you know how to determine quality vs. price. Learn more in our primer Selecting the Best Wine for Your Budget.

In general, pricing is a guideline as to the style of wine making in red wines. Less expensive reds are made to enjoy as soon as you uncork. Pour and enjoy! More expensive reds typically need 20 to 40 minutes to decant (breathe) to enjoy to their fullest.

Texas: Ruby Cab, Dolcetto
West Coast: Pinot Noir, Barbera, Zinfandel
France: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Côtes du Ventoux, Gamay, Cinsault, Counoise
Italy: Bardolino, Primitivo, Chianti Classico, Nebbiolo
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache, Carignan
Texas: Dolcetto, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Sangiovese
West Coast: Barbera, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, GSM blends
Argentina: Merlot, Tempranillo, Bonarda
Australia: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz
Chile: Merlot, Carménère
France: Beaujolais crus, Village Burgundy, Côte du Rhône Village, Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre blend, Petite Bordeaux
Italy: Negroamaro, Barbera, Valpolicella, Chianti Riserva, Sangiovese
South Africa: Shiraz, Pinotage
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache
Texas: Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon
West Coast: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Meritage (Bordeaux-style blend), Petite Syrah/Shiraz, Mourvedre
Argentina: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon
France: better Bordeaux (Left Bank = bolder-style Cabernet, Right Bank = softer style Merlot), Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Mourvèdre, Vacqueyras, Gigondas
Italy: Amarone, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Sagrantino, Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo, Salice Salentino, Super Tuscan
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache, Monastrell (bolder-style red regions: Priorat, Montsant, Toro, Ribera de Duero)