Rio Grande Valley Style Carne Guisada

Total Time: 2 hrs 15 mins

Servings: 4


1 1⁄2 lbs round steaks

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 cups water

1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1⁄2 green bell pepper, diced

1⁄2 onion, sliced

1 fresh tomato, diced

1⁄2 cup tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Cube meat (about 1″), removing all fat and gristle.
  2. Sear meat in oil.
  3. Add water and cook on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Toast cumin seeds in a small sauté skillet on medium-high until they begin to smoke slightly.
  5. Grind the hot cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle.
  6. Add oregano, ground toasted cumin, black pepper, salt and garlic to the meat.
  7. Add vegetables (bell pepper, onion and tomato) and continue to cook about 30 minutes.
  8. Add tomato sauce, chili powder and paprika.
  9. Continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
  10. While the meat is simmering, heat 2 tbsp oil in a small sauté pan and add flour over medium-low heat.
  11. Stir the flour and oil constantly until the flour turns a light golden brown (roux).
  12. Add the roux to the meat and continue to simmer for about another 30 minutes.
  13. Serve carne guisada with rice and beans and flour or corn tortillas.
  14. Note: can speed the cooking time by using a pressure cooker.