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

Carne Guisada
Some years back I did a post of my Mother’s Carne Guisada on my old blogspot blog… which had vanished due to a glitch. So here it is again. This post meant a lot to me because I had recently lost my Mami. 

For this dish, we start with the basic “sofrito.” Sofrito is the base seasoning for most of Puerto Rican cooking.
Ingredients:
recao*
onions
ajies dulces (little sweet peppers)
green pepper
garlic
oregano
thyme

Recao
Above, the basic ingredients for Puerto Rican sofrito. *The recao is a leaf used in Caribbean cooking, upper left. You can substitute it with cilantro. 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.

 

Below: the result of mixing these wonderful herbs and peppers.

PR sofrito

 

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.

Preparation:

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 sight.

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

Carne Guisada
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.

 

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