Mami’s Carne Guisada – Puerto Rican Beef Stew

Last year I did a post of my Mother’s Carne Guisada on the old blog…you know, the one that disappeared. This post meant a lot to me because I had recently lost my Mami.

I am a member of the Hispanic Kitchen and the founder, Jorge Bravo, has been very supportive of my blog and my dilemma. Jorge posted the picture of my carne guisada on Facebook and received 186 hits in a matter of a day. I was so surprised and happy. When you get a chance, go visit this wonderful site and the people that contribute to it.

We start with the basic “sofrito”. Sofrito is the base 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.

Beef Stew ingredients:

2-1/2 – 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 deadly 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.

My mom, Violeta with Linda and Brandy.

November 11, 1924 – August 7, 2008

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

Mami and me eons ago.

This entry was posted in Latin Traditional, Meats, Puerto Rican - Tipico, Sofrito. Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Mami’s Carne Guisada – Puerto Rican Beef Stew

  1. Joan Nova says:

    I remember this post. The recipe looks delicious, flavorful and comforting — and it was nice to see your mom again. What a very beautiful woman!

  2. That she was in more ways than one…

  3. Ben says:

    Our mami’s recipes are always the best, aren’t they? This beef stew smells like home and family. Thank you for sharing and giving us back all the delicious recipes that were lost in the blogosphere. So nice to see you back! 🙂

  4. Adriana says:

    I love your bright green sofrito! Carne guisada is textbook comfort food. It’s one of those dishes that I won’t eat outside Mama’s house because I know it just won’t be up to par. Thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures! The plating of the rice with the amarillos is brilliant too.

  5. Yuri says:

    You have the best blog name ever 😀 it’s been a long time since I’ve heard the term “recao”. “Recaito” here is cilantro, which is also called “verdura” and “hojita”. That flat leaf is called “cilantro macho”… LOL so many funny names!

  6. Felicia says:

    so wonderful! that is what i call comfort food!!!!! fantastic!!!!! once I recover, I will come over for some!!!!!!! don’t think any leftovers ????

  7. Felicia says:

    ahhhhh such comfort food!!!!! wait till i recover and i will be ringing your doorbell!!!!!

  8. Arlene says:

    I’m sure this tasted delicious! Loved your picture with mami!

  9. This looks for sure mouthwatering!
    “eat, eat, the food is getting cold”.. ;-))My mom loves to say that too.

  10. this sounds just delicious!! oh my:) i am so craving for this right now.

  11. jay says:

    A really awesome dish..just stuffed with goodness…

    Tasty Appetite
    Event: Letz Relishh Ice Creams

  12. What a lovely post, Norma!! Not only foodwise, but because of your memories…My mother used to tell me exactly the same (but stressed differently, with Argentinian accent: comé, comé!!!!! siempre comés todo helado!!) I was a picky eater as a child..skinny girl (why did I overcome this situation??! ;D
    Thanks for recipe and memory!

  13. All those flavors sound fabulous! Great post Norma! 🙂

  14. Lazaro says:

    Carne guisada done right.


  15. Nuria says:

    Thanks for your comment darling! How wonderful were those old pictures. Moms are… Moms!!!
    A delicious recipe 😀

  16. Erica says:

    I love carne guisada and your Puerto Rican version is amazing, Norma! I love Jorge’s site and I have in my blogroll.

  17. Robin Sue says:

    Hi Norma,
    Found your blog through Joan. So happy you are back! You mother is beautiful and what a delicious looking recipe. I will be back for more good food!

  18. Hi Norma, I dropped by from Joan’s blog to say hello. I agree with the other comments. There’s nothing like mom’s cooking. Lovely tribute to your mother.

  19. Sally says:

    Welcome back – how awful for you to lose your blog that way. I really enjoyed visiting the countries of the world with you with Joan at Foodalogue. The new blog looks brilliant. Fingers crossed I’ve had no problems with WordPress at all.

  20. Katie says:

    I also remember you posting this dish on your old blog. It strikes me as the ultimate in comfort food! It’s amazing the capacity that food has for dredging up memories. I’m sure your mom would love your blog and all its stories. 🙂

  21. pachecopatty says:

    I’m glad you were able to re post this, it’s a shame it was lost!
    This is true comfort food and a wonderful tribute to your mother. I also love the older photos, such nice memories for you.
    I took some photos of the baby Padron pepper plants at my friend’s ranch last week and will be closely following them to be sure I receive a bag or two during their harvest. I will keep you updated;-)

  22. Reeni says:

    I’m so glad you reposted Norma! The stew sounds incredibly delicious – I’m intrigued by the olives! Such wonderful flavors. Thank you for sharing – your Mom is beautiful! xoxo

  23. I can’t believe your blog disappeared, but you are back strong. I subscribed so I’m not missing a thing.

  24. Lovely post, Norma, and how nice to see photos of your beautiful mother.

    Thanks for explaining the sofrito thing to me – I’ve never quite understood how it was used. One question – are laurel leaves like bay leaves? Thanks! 🙂

  25. bellini says:

    Its wonderful to meet you mom who was obviously a big influence on who you are today!

  26. Minnie says:

    Delicious!!! I made this and feel in love with it. My apartment was filled with the beat kind of aroma. My neighbor even asked me what I made! Hehe thanks for filling my family and myself with such a great meal!

  27. Mo says:

    Thanks for sharing. Beautiful pics. God Bless. My husband is half PR and has no recipes, yet we all love the food. This will be nice to pass to my children. Thanks again.

  28. Liza says:

    The pictures of your mother are beautiful. The presentation of the carne guisada makes me wish I can have a plate right now. Thank you for sharing a meal which is entwined with memories of good flavor and love. I am making some today. I hope it turns out as tantalizing as your picture.

  29. Kelly says:

    Thanks for sharing! The carne guisada looks delicious! I am going to make this today. Also the pictures are great!

  30. naec says:

    I’d like to give this one a shot! Looks beautiful! I’m Puerto Rican and have lived in the South for the majority of my life. My husband — who isn’t Puerto Rican — LOVES the food! I would like to make this today. How does one use the pressure cooker variation? Do you just put everything in at once?

    • First thanks for the comment. I would put everything but carrots and potatoes. Would add them half an hour before serving so the carrots and potatoes cook. I am not a pressure cooker person….I hope it work and go look at my flan – I think you would enjoy that post also.

  31. andy says:

    I remember your pic on carne guisada. I’m sorry you lost your mom.

  32. Andrea Molina says:

    Que Rico!!! Thank you…some of us did not have to fortune of having Mami…Thank you for sharing!

  33. vivian says:

    Omg, me acorde de mi mami. La receta esta rrrica!!!

  34. Mariela says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe and story… I have made this twice already and it’s a hit with my friends and family…

  35. George "Jorge" Rosado says:

    Thank you Norma from a fellow Puertoriqueño who hails from Manhattan, Brooklyn and now residing in Ozone Park Queens, some tour huh? I remember this dish especially around 1PM most Sundays when dinner was always made and ready at that early hour. I sort of kicked it up a bit with adding Sazon con Achiote (2 packets). In lieu of the frozen peas which I had none on hand I substituted a whole ear of corn, quartered, and added it to the stew within the last 40 minutes of total cooking time. Great outcome and I was still sucking the juices that were imbedded into the cob afterwards. Talk about finger licking good this one brought back sweet memories of my little old lady, Doña Fela Rosado (QDEP), of the times she prepared this always family favorite dish. I kick my individual serving up a bit further with a small bed of white rice and 2 generous slices of aguacate and sprinkle some hot sauce (Siracha-garlicky Asian hot sauce) and my oh my I’m in Comfort food heaven. Thanks once again this is surely a keeper.
    PS (For those who didn’t understand my acronymn it means Rest in Peace in Spanish aka Que Descanse En Paz. Peace Norma.

    • Jorge thanks for stopping by…. I will be in the future posting good old PR recipes como Sopa de Platano, Gandules guisados con bolitas de platanos, etc. If you have a favorite, let me know and I will cook it and pot it for you….

  36. George "Jorge" Rosado says:

    Indeed I always loved a well made Sancocho. Haven’t had any for some years now. I have an idea of the list of ingredients but don’t remember them all and the procedure to cook it. I would also like to know if you’ve ever posted a Pastele recipe in the past which is always a home run in my home anytime of year when made “Old school style” hand grating all the root vegetables and the ingredients that make a great tasting pastele that wouldn’t turn hard even if it cooled off. I guess the trick to accomplishing that is to add more callabaza (pumpkin or squash) to the masa. Your thoughts? Thank you once again.

    • I have been meaning to make pasteles for a while now, but it’s a job and if you are going to make them you must make at least 50-100 and freeze for the holidays. I am trying to get a few of my friends to help out as when my mom and her sisters would sit aroud “bochinchando” and all had a job to do making the pasteles. Who would grate, cut the meat, cook the meat, make the masa, etc. I hope that by the end of October pasteles will be on my blog. Hey we might recruit you also…LOL.

  37. George "Jorge" Rosado says:

    I would be most happy if you would need my assistance. Remember the saying “There’s too many cooks in that kitchen” not in the case of making batches of pasteles. The more the merrier. I have a great recipe for Sofrito as well from a family member that would last a normal household anywhere from 4 to 6 months when properly stored and with normal usage (Sauces, beans, rice & meat dishes, etc.). Let me know if you would like this and send me a private email, I’ll return your response with the recipe and some storing tips to pass on to friends and followers alike. By the way Bochinche is always a topic of conversation when good friends and or family gather for such occasions. In a weird way it mentally healthy. LOL!

  38. chi chi rodrigo says:

    Im a chicago firefighter and I cant wait to cook this great puerto rican meal the guys will go nuts! The presentation and pictures very well done, great stuff.

  39. Pingback: Green Plaintain Soup + Plantain Spiders – Sopa de Platanos Verdes con Arañitas |

  40. Jezel says:

    Thank you for your post, i have not made Carne Guisada in ten years, thats how long its been since my mami died, this was my most favorite dish that she made for me. Her pics reminded me of her but when you wrote” come que se te enfria la comida I heard her voice and smelled the stew… it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for that memory seems like purerto rican moms all went to the same school. I made the stew last night feeling very melancholic and i feel mami made it!!! thank you so much for sharing and so sorry to hear of your moms passing.

  41. DIana says:

    Thank you for this recipe!!! Delicious and on point…. With Love, A puertorican from NJ.

  42. Pingback: Hungarian Goulash – Paleo Style | Simply Norma

  43. Miriam says:

    Thank you! I used your mom’s recipe and it was perfect and delicious.

  44. Marilyn says:

    I was craving BEEF STEW and i wanted to make it for the whole family. I have ordered it for spanish resturants a small portion for about $9.50 . So i looked up a recipe and behold im glad i found yours. While making it i was concerned that it wasnt seasoned enough. I cooked it and drove the house crazy with the smell. Then bam it was done. The most tender, moist, well seasoned beef stew ive ever had. I have been left disapoined at the dry ones at resturants. This recipe made enough for 3men and 3ladies. With a bit to spare. I didnt see the serving size before hand or maybe i missed it. Cudos !


  46. Marina says:

    Mi mami told me the very same, ” Come, come….!” Thank you for this loving post.

  47. Pudding says:

    I am going to try your recipe in a slow cooker crock pot tonight. Thanks from a Boricua in Maryland

  48. Wow,this was soo delish! I’am Puerto Rican by my dads side,my mom mex-American..I cook from both cultures,but couldn’t get this dish right! After reading the ingredients for sofrito,Bingo! All these years I was taught the wrong way! I made this carne Guisada last night and my familia loved it! My husband who is mex-American said OMG,this tastes just if Not better than your grandmas in New York ! Soo thank you,tonight I’m making asopao de pollo,yummy can’t wait! I’m from western Michigan and it’s very hard to find some of the ingredients for the sofrito,like aijices,culantro,but it still was awesome! Thank you..Your Mami was Lovely! Bendiciones

    • Oh my what a great comment and you made me quite happy. Goya makes frozen sofrito if you can get that. If there are any recipes you want just let me know and I will post them. I am from New York City and if you need some ingredients just let me know. You can subscribe to my blog but signing in and every time I post you woo get an email. Again, thanks.

  49. Pingback: Christmas in July: Host a Caribbean Cruise Party | Treetopia Blog

  50. Christine Perez says:

    Exactly how i make… my grandmotherwould say the same thing. Thanks for sharin

  51. Diana says:

    How would you make this in a slow cooker? Please advise. Thanks!!!

  52. Abby Toner says:

    Its funny my Puerto Rican sister I was getting ready to make this very same recipe today lol. I love your story and your pictures. My mom is almost 80 and still cooks. The still is authentic Puerto Rican cuisine . Whom ever makes this will love it. With pique (hot sauce lol

    • Ask your miami for the recipe of corn meal and I think fat back that mom used to make but I can’t recall it. Send to but make sure you put on subject. I get lots of junk mail. Thanks for the kind words and if you want me to make something special let me know and if your Miami wants to share recipes I will love them as mine is gone and I miss her dearly.

  53. Na'Sheela says:

    This recipe sounds amazing!!! How would you make it in a slow cooker?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s