Carne Guisada

By / Food / February 15th, 2023 / Like

Makes 4 to 6 servings 

I make this dish all the time and, yet, I never tire of it. Sometimes I use pork, sometimes I use chicken, and very infrequently I use beef. The beef version is the most delicious, in my opinion, but it’s also the richest. I use the same cut of beef for when I make pot roast or beef stew; it’s a tender cut that has a decent amount of fat. If you cut it into small chunks, it cooks quickly and tenderly. This could easily become a part of your regular weeknight meal rotation.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 11/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water, or as needed
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup unpitted Manzanilla green olives (optional)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup sofrito 
  • 1 tablespoon sazón 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Basic White Rice for serving


Add the canola oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot and place over medium-high

heat. Add the chuck roast and sear for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in the water, tomato sauce, half of the olives and potato pieces, 2 tablespoons of the sofrito, and the sazón, then scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen all the brown bits. Turn the heat to low and let simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour, keeping an eye on it because the potato will thicken the broth and you might need to add more water.

Add the remaining half of the potato to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potato pieces are fork-tender. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sofrito and remaining olives and stir to distribute well.

Serve the guisada over rice.

About Illyanna Maisonet: 

Illyanna Maisonet was the United States’ first Puerto Rican food columnist for a major newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, and has hosted sold out pop-up dinners across the San Francisco Bay Area. An IACP award winner for narrative food writing, she has collaborated with José Andrés on Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story wrap party, contributed recipes to Rancho Gordo, authored a crowdfunded cookbooklet, and has written for the Los Angeles TimesSaveur, Food & Wine, Lucky Peach, Food52Eater SF, and more. 

Reprinted with permission from Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet copyright ©2022. Puerto Rico location photographs by Erika P. Rodriguez. California location and food photographs copyright © 2022 by Dan Liberti. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.


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