TexMex Carne Guisada has pepper AND chile

Chile is Mexican, scientific name capsicum.
Pepper is Indian (India), scientific name piper.
ChileAndPeppersml.jpgWhen our European ancestors, searching for India, landed instead in South America and found chiles, they used the default name with which they were familiar, "pepper."   They also called the South American natives "Indians," but that's another story.

Both Chile and Pepper are used in Carne Guisada, ground in a Molcajete together with garlic and cumin. (hmmm I'm already at the Yum!!!  stage!! ) This TexMex stewed beef dish is aromatic and its flavor profile is wonderfully contrasted. The flavor profile of a dish consists of the identifiable taste, odor, chemical feeling (hot capsicum) and aftertaste.  molcajetesml.jpgIn my opinion, achieving the correct flavor profile of Carne Guisada depends entirely on what you grind in your Molcajete.  The following recipe is my family's variation and of course I love it, but you can refine it according to your taste.  Just remember that the focus should be on your Molcajete: the mixture of ingredients to include cumin, garlic and BOTH pepper and chiles. 

Recipe ( serves 4)
1 1/2 lb round steak
1 large White Onion, sliced
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
2 1/2 cups water, approximately
1 Chile Serrano, sliced
2 dried Chile de Arbol
15 Black Pepper corns
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and sliced
1/4 tspn cumin seeds
1 1/2 tspn salt

1.  Cut the round steak into 1/2 or 3/4 inch cube
2.  In a dutch oven or deep skillet, heat 1 Tbsp Canola oil and brown the meat on high heat, then remove.
3.  Using 1/2 cup of the water, deglaze and set the liquid aside.
3.  Add to the skillet 1 Tbsp Canola oil and sweat the onions on low heat until they are soft.
4   While the onions are cooking, grind the chiles, pepper, garlic, cumin and salt in the molcajete to achieve a very fine paste.  Add a little water to allow you to scrape the paste away from the molcajete. (See picture above)
5.  Add the meat to the onions, also the molcajete paste, the deglazing liquid and the rest of the water.  The water should just cover the meat, so adjust accordingly.
6. Simmer at slightly below a full boil, about 200oF, covered, for about one hour.  At this heat level the beef collagen changes into gelatin and renders the beef both soft and  flavorful. If the heat is too high, the beef will be tough. Remove the cover during the last fifteen minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

I served it with green beans baked slowly in an Achiote, orange and jalapeño sauce.  Here it is.
CarneGuisadasml.jpgLet me know how this recipe turns out for you.  ¡Buen Provecho!

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This page contains a single entry by Adan Medrano published on July 10, 2011 6:23 AM.

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