Carne Guisada - A Mexican Pot Roast

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Today we are making Carne Guisada. This Mexican pot roast will be braised in spices so that we will end up with a beautifully tender roast that will fall apart under your fork.

Here are a number of reasons why braising is a wonderful way to prepare a meal.

  1. You can use an inexpensive cut of meat. In this case it's called chuck. Cooking it slow and low means tender and flavorful.
  2. Once you get all the spices and ingredients in the pot, the rest is on auto pilot. Put your feet up and take a break until it's ready to serve.
  3. Clean up is a snap because you only use one pot. Well maybe two if you make some rice.
  4. The last and most important reason is taste. The flavor is amazing.

Tips For Making Carne Guisada

The one thing I want to suggest you do when making this dish is to get all of your ingredients measured out in dishes so they are ready to go in the pot when you need them.

That way when you are working with medium high heat, sauteing the onion for example, it doesn't burn because you are gathering your other ingredients.

So get all your ingredients measured out, vegetables chopped, and your garlic minced. You will appreciate it later. 

Watch How To Make Carne Guisada

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Tips For Flavor

When making this dish, I am going to ask you to coat the meat with flour and then sear it. These steps will greatly enhance the flavor of your roast. Searing accomplishes two things:

  1. It will seal in the juices of the meat.
  2. Creates a brown crust that sticks to the bottom of the pan, creating what is called fond.

Fond is little bits of meat and juices stuck to the bottom of your pan wheregreat flavors are born.

You will use a technique calleddeglazing to get these stuck pieces off the bottom of the pan and into your sauce. All you have to do is add a little liquid (wine, broth, lemon juice) and stir or scrape the bottom of the pan.

I also want to mention the chipotle peppers in this pot roast. In case you are not familiar with them, they are smoked jalapeno peppers. They are very hot, so add them according to your tastebuds.

I don't like things terribly hot but I do like that smokey flavor they give so I use one pepper in my carne guisada. I also try and remove most of the seeds where a lot of the heat resides.

So if you don't like much heat try one small pepper and you will be fine.

Now let's get dinner going.

Carne Guisada Recipe

Serves 4


  • 3lb. chuck roast
  • all purpose flour to dredge (coat) roast
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 med yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chile powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with basil and herbs if you can find it
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 4 carrots, cleaned and cut in half


Before we start: You do have all your ingredients measured out and prepared, right? Good, now we can begin.

Use a heavy stock pot or dutch oven with a tight fitting lid.

Add 1 tbsp. of oil and heat over medium high heat.

Salt and pepper the roast on one side. Use a spatula and press the salt and pepper into the meat.

Fill a platter (big enough to hold roast) with 1/2 cup of flour and spread it out. Place the roast, salt and pepper side down into the flour. Salt and pepper the second side of the roast and then turn it over to coat with flour. Coat the whole roast.

When the oil is hot, carefully place the roast in the pot to sear. Searing the roast will lock in the juices and form a crust on the roast creating those nice flavors. Let the roast sear for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on a side. Don't move it around at this point.

Then turn the roast over. I found it easy to turn the roast over with two sets of tongs. After you have browned all sides of the roast, place it in your stock pot.

At this point you will notice some nice brown carmelized bits of meat and juice stuck to the bottom of the pan.

That's the fond I was telling you about.

With the temperature still on medium high, add the onion, and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add the chipotle pepper and cumin and saute for 1 minute.

Now add the tomato paste and stir frequently for a minute or two. Since the tomatoe paste has a fair amount of sugar in it, it will carmelize and turn a dark red brick color (more delicious flavor for our carne guisada).

Add the garlic and stir 2 minutes.

Now it's time to deglaze.

Pour 1/2 cup of wine into the hot pan and stir and scrape to help losen the bits of meat etc. which have stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Add this mixture to the stock pot containing the roast. Now you can add the beef stock, black beans, carrots, diced tomatoes, cloves, chile powder, 1 tsp. salt,

If you wanted to use a crock pot, this is the point I would put this mexican pot roast into one.

Put the lid on, bring this to a boil and then lower the temperature to low/simmer and relax. Cook the stew for at least 3 hours and it won't hurt to go longer. Notice the wonderful aroma filling your house.

Your carne guisada will be done in 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

I'm serving mine with refried beans and cilantro lime rice in flour tortillas. Yummy. 

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New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Made your apple pie recipe yesterday. Absolutely the best!! And no gap! Your spice mixture was just right.

I have the apple/corer/peeler and it made perfect slices in no time. Thank you so much for your wonderful step by step instructions and for the video. Much appreciated. Lucky me! :)

-B.A. from 

Hi! I just wanted to say that your tortilla recipe/video is pretty much the greatest thing ever! I'm a college student, so it's a really great/cheap thing to make. They're especially good with butter, honey, and brown sugar.

I just have to make sure my family doesn't find out I stopped using the family tortilla recipe! Ha! Thanks again!

-C.M. from 
Queens, New York

I just have to write to you and admit something! I'm preparing your spanish rice recipe at the moment AND....I want to thank you!

I had actually given up on making Spanish rice! No one, or no recipe, until YOURS, ever said to actually BROWN the rice so much.! I think thats the taste difference!

Thank YOU so much.  I followed your recipe exactly,..and it is absolutely wonderful!

-Martha MacDonald from 
Karlovac Croatia

Just to let you know that I found your website and love it. We have very limited Mexican produce in Australia and I am enjoying making your recipes.

I have made your enchilada sauce a few times now.  We all love it and have managed to find pinto beans at our central markets. Good Job. Well done.

-Wendy Sachse from 
Adelaide Australia

Rockin' Robin, you truly rock! I live in china right now, far, far away from my beloved Mexican food. Finding ingredients is hard enough, learning how to make everything from scratch no longer is with your recipes.

Though I've only tried your tortilla recipe, I will certainly be coming back to your site to make retried beans and Spanish rice!

My tortillas were awesome, best yet, thanks for giving us a night of Mexican food all the way over here in China!

-Erin from Santa Barbara, California

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I stumbled upon your website today as I searched the web for flour tortilla recipes. I made these just after viewing your video, and five of us devoured them.

SO DELICIOUS. And easy to make! I am most grateful to you for this simple, tasty recipe. Your video was a useful tutorial.

I've not attempted to make tortillas prior to making yours, though we often eat tortillas. We're vegetarians, so I was looking for a recipe which used canola oil instead of lard. You delivered. Merci.

-Frances Bolte

WOW! What a great website. Love how you show what to do and how it is supposed to look. Definitely in my favorites folder.

-Terri M from Florida Keys
Where good Mexican food is hard to find.

Just made your enchilada sauce recipe and that's what I've been looking for. I like the fact it has a little heat but not too much so my kids will eat it. Thank you for posting the recipe. i am turning leftover turkey into turkey enchiladas tonight but the star is really the sauce. Thanks again.

-Tony Starks, California