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Carne Guisada Recipe

Excerpted from ‘Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook’

spinner image carne guisada on plate with fork and knife, can in upper left corner, yellow sauce in bottom right corner, more food in top right corner
Dan Liberti

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.

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  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1½ pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water, or as needed
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup unpitted Manzanilla green olives (optional)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup sofrito
  • 1 tablespoon sazón
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 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 of sofrito and remaining olives, and stir to distribute well.

Serve the Guisada over rice.


Cook With Illyanna

spinner image cover of diasporican, a puerto rican cookbook; two hands holding food
Penguin Random House

Two more recipes from Diasporican for AARP members to try:

Brazo Gitano With Burge Road Cherry Cream Filling

Fresh cherries from an orchard in Stockton, California, lend a flavorful burst to this rolled sponge cake dessert.


Although this family recipe takes six to seven hours to cook, it’s well worth the wait. 

Read about Illyanna Maisonet’s latest cookbook, Diasporican.


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