This is a rich. complex beef stew with just a hint of sweetness - a touch of something exotic that makes it stand out from more traditional recipes for beef stew. The secret ingredient is coconut milk, which seems to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes and the beef. Sweet potatoes are good in this stew, though regular potatoes work well too. This recipe can feed a crowd - but don't worry if there are leftovers, because the stew tastes even better the next day. Serve carne guisada with South American-style rice and patacones (fried green plantains).
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 8-10.
- 2-3 pounds stewing beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 medium onions
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 tablespoon aji panca chile pepper paste (optional)
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 14-ounce cans of stewed tomatoes
- 2-3 cups beef bouillon
- 3 sweet or regular potatoes
- 3 medium carrots (optional)
- 1 cup frozen green peas (optional)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the beef into 1 to 2 inch cubes. Mince the garlic. Peel and dice the onions. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the cubed beef and brown the pieces on all sides, turning pieces with tongs as necessary. Remove from pan and set beef aside on a plate.
- Add the garlic and onions to the hot skillet. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the cumin, paprika, chile powder, aji panca paste (optional), and brown sugar. Cook garlic and onions until they are very soft and fragrant, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
- Add the stewed tomatoes to the skillet, including their liquid, and continue to cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5-8 minutes.
- Add the beef back to the skillet, and add enough beef stock to cover the meet. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover stew and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Check stew, tasting for seasoning. Add more broth if needed. Continue to simmer until beef is tender. Once the beef is tender enough to cut fairly easily with a fork, peel and cube the potatoes and add to the stew. Add peeled carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces, if desired. Add coconut milk.
- Simmer stew for about 30 minutes more, or until potatoes are tender and can be pierced with a fork. Stir in the peas if using.
- Serve stew hot, over rice with fried plantains on the side.