Friday, February 11, 2011

Carne Guisada to celebrate 2 years of blogging!

Two years.  TWO YEARS!  I can hardly believe it.  From the moment I hit Publish Post on my Manhattan Clam Chowder...my life was changed.  Sure, I've always cooked...but this blog has been such a motivator and creative outlet for me.  I've met so many amazing people and made real friends along the way.  I've also met a few rotten apples, but hey...there's a few in every barrel, right?  That said, I can not imagine my day-to-day life without girlichef now.  I am able to cook and eat and explore new books and products.  I get to write and photograph and get free stuff (I really like free stuff).  I've found and made meals that will be with my family for years to come...and I've found a few that made their way directly into the bin.  Although it's hard to express exactly how I feel through words...I'll just say that I'm looking forward to many more years!

Okay.  Enough of that.  Let's talk about guisadas.  In particular, let's talk about Guisada vs. GuisadoWhat?  You mean there's a difference?  Yup.  There is a difference.  A guisada is one thing...roasted or cooked.  It can be anything from a meat to a vegetable.  If you're making several things, it would be the plural, guisadas. So, you're cooking up individual pieces of meat and veg but serving them together, they would still be guisadas. So, cooking up something that makes up a portion of a whole meal, basically.  My dish today is a guisada.  I will stuff it into something else.  I will serve it alongside the other meal components.

A guisado, on the other hand is a full meal that is cooked together in one pot.  Basically, like a "stew", if you will.  Meat, veggies, sauce...a whole meal stewed together for a long time...that's a guisado.  You'll probably eat it scooped into a bowl with it's liquid from a spoon.

These are the comparisons as I know and understand them.  However, I could be wrong.  Wouldn't be the first time.  I turn to my resident Mexican when I have questions about Mexican dishes I've never heard of or made before. But, he is only human and just the fact that he's Mexican, by no means makes him an expert.  It was pointed out to me that the difference could simply stem from the feminine (guisada) and masculine (guisado) versions of the word, as the Spanish language does.  Well, yes.  That makes perfect sense, actually...I'm not going to argue.  My Spanish-speaking-skills are very minimal.  I try, but my brain is very stubborn in its old {ahem} age.  So.  If you  completely want to set me straight, then I welcome that.  Just go easy on me, okay?  I try not to take things personally...but I'm a Scorpio...

So, does it really matter what you call it?  It could.  Just depends on who you're speaking with.  Okay.  On to my guisada.  Can I just say...This is one of the best things I've eaten this year!  There's only a few ingredients...but the way they are cooked...they just coat the cubes of tender sirloin in a loving embrace of flavor!  Seriously, I wanted to pop a baggie of it in my purse so I could take it on my errands with me.  Reach in on the sly and pop a piece in my mouth while waiting in line to pay a bill.  Or wheeling a cart through the market.  Or mailing a package at the post office.  It's the stuff my dreams are made of baby. I♥it.  I bet you will, too.
Carne Guisada
makes ~6 svgs.

3½ lbs. top sirloin, fat trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
1 Tbs. + ½ tsp. kosher salt
1½ tsp.. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. cumin
2¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 c. beef broth + more as needed
1 large yellow onion (~1½ c.), cut into ½"dice
1 very large bell pepper (~1½ c.), cut into ½"dice
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes w/ green chiles

Toss the cubed sirloin with the salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.  Place them in a large Dutch oven and cover.  Cook on med-high for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 20 minutes.

Add beef broth, replace lid and cook another 20 minutes.  Add the onions and green peppers, stir.  Cover and cook another 20 minutes.  Pour in the can of tomatoes and chiles with their juices and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.  While the dish shouldn't be soupy, you also don't want it to dry out completely.  Add in a bit more broth if it seems to be getting too dry.

It is done when the meat pulls apart easily...it should be extremely tender.  Garnish with some chopped cilantro, if you wish...it will add a hit of freshness to the final dish.

While I find this pretty irresistible as-is, it's great wrapped in a corn tortilla...or stuffed into a big flour tortilla to make a burrito (top it with a bit of salsa or enchilada sauce and melt some cheese over it. I'm drooling just thinking about it)...or folded into a quesadilla.  You name it!  I served it as part of this meal.
So, whaddaya say?  Those of you who've stuck around for two years...and those of you who are just starting to hang out here...what are you looking to see from me in this start of year three?  Any requests or thoughts or constructive criticisms?  Or are you just in a hurry to get out of here so you can make a big dish of Carne Guisada?  Mmmmm Hmmm...that's what I thought.

*I am sharing this post with:
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