Res Guisada (Dominican Braised Beef) is a tender meat dish that is one of the components of La Bandera Dominicana, the traditional Dominican lunch meal.
Carne de Res Guisada (Braised Beef Stew Dominican-Style) makes regular appearances for lunch as part of our traditional Dominican lunch fare.
Long before we started mass-producing Styrofoam plates, food para llevar came from fondas, and was served in cantinas. It goes without saying that what was on offer was none other than La Bandera Dominicana.
Before you're confused with Spanish words... A fonda is a small town mom 'n pop restaurant that mostly serves lunch fares. A cantina in the Dominican Republic it is what it's known in English as "miner's lunchbox" or "tiffin lunch box", and for decades they were very popular in our country.
Every morning, customers would drop off their cantinas (which, for convenience, had the family name painted on top) and would pick it up sometime before noon. Lunch would arrive served in a strict order: habichuelas at the bottom, meat in the middle (usually pollo guisado, or this Dominican Carne Guisada), followed by rice, and fritos verdes; salad would go at the very top.
In this age of disposables, the venerable cantina is now considered déclassé, a pity really, as proven by the mountains of Styrofoam plates flung everywhere, creating more and more pollution and waste. Maybe we should bring the cantina back.
About this Dominican Beef Recipe
There are as many recipes for this dish as there are Dominican home cooks, each would definitely consider hers or his the best Dominican Carne Guisada recipe. We're all kinda right.
What you must know about this Carne Guisada Recipe Dominican-style is that it is a humble dish, for this we use very inexpensive cuts, then it is braised over low temperatures, for a long time. This results in very tender meat, and very rich sauce that turns brown from caramelizing the sugars in the vegetables. Fast food this ain't!
This is my own family recipe, one in which oregano one of the stars of the show, as should be the case since I am from a town famous for --among other things -- oregano. If you have another way of making Dominican beef stew, let us know in the comments!
Res Guisada Recipe (Dominican-Style Braised Beef):
- 2 lb [0.91 kg] of beef (round or skirt) cut into small pieces.
- Juice of 1 lime
- A pinch of sun-dried oregano
- A pinch of pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 3 cups of water (may need more)
- 1 red onion cut into slices
- 2 tomatoes cut into quarters
- 2 bell peppers , cut into small pieces
- 3 cloves of garlic , mashed
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 sprig of cilantro , chopped
- Scrub the meat with the lime juice. Season with oregano, pepper, and salt.
How to cook carne guisada
- In a pot heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the beef and brown. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the meat is very tender (it may take from 30-60 minutes), adding water by the tablespoon when it becomes necessary to prevent the meat from burning.
- Stir in onion, tomatoes, pepper and garlic, cover and and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, adjust water if necessary.
- Add the tomato sauce and 1 cup of water, simmer over low heat to produce a light sauce. Season with cilantro and salt to taste.