It's getting to be that time of year again. Fall. I am always reluctant for Fall to come. I am completely a summer girl. While I may not embrace cooler weather, there are some things I will embrace about Fall...football, watching movies since we can't swim, snuggling under blankets, and the food. Ahh, the food that comes with cooler weather. Soups, stews, roasted meats, hearty comfort food. I'm kind of glad for the change for the reason that I can cook a whole different set of recipes.
So, as the beginning of Fall approaches, I decided to make a different kind of taco than you are probably used to. This one is called Carne Guisada, which loosely means meat cooked long and slow like a stew. It is essentially TexMex beef tips in gravy. It is eaten in tortillas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are probably as many versions of this dish as there are Hispanic households. Mine has beef tips, serrano peppers, and spices in a tomato and beef stock.
A Hispanic lady that I work with puts green beans in hers which sounds fabulous to me. But I wanted to try it the traditional way (sort of) before I got crazy with it. I also threw in a small can of El Pato Mexican style hot sauce. But you can use a can of tomato sauce if you don't want the heat. It's optional. If you can't find it and want the heat, add in some cayenne pepper. I think you are going to fall in love with Carne Guisada.
2 lbs beef tips (or stew meat)
2 T peanut oil
2 serranos, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 C beef stock
One 12-ounce beer (preferably imported from Mexico)
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
2 T cilantro, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
One 7 3/4 El Pato tomato sauce (or regular tomato sauce)
1 T flour
Heat the peanut oil to high heat in a dutch oven or large pot. Sear the meat on all sides in two batches. You are just getting color, not cooking it. Remove it from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and the serranos to the pot and reduce the heat to medium high. Cook until the onions and serranos are tender. Pour in the beer. Scrape up any browned bits in the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until most of the liquid has cooked out.
Add in the remaining ingredients except the flour and return the beef back to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is very tender. Put the flour in a bowl and add in a ladle of the beef liquid. Whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture back into the pot and stir. Cook an additional 5 or so minutes to thicken the sauce to a gravy consistency. Serve on flour tortillas with crumbled Cotija cheese and Pico de Gallo.