Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homesick Texan - Carne Guisada

Homesick Texan - Carne Guisada

I've only been reading Homesick Texan's blog for a few months... so I can't call myself any sort of longtime fan... but I definitely dig her style and the Tex-Mex thing even living all the way up here in New England. As a Baltimore native, I'm also well aware that regional cuisines often don't travel very well or very far - either not being available or only available in some bastardized form (see New England crab cakes)... and so if you want to eat the food you grew up with you have to wait until you go back home to visit, or make it your own damn self. To all of our benefit, Homesick Texan took the latter route, publishing recipes that allow those of us in places with terrible Tex-Mex scenes to still experience the food at home.

So enter the carne guisada that you see above. A type of "carne" I had never even heard of, but which translates into "stewed meat." Just by looking at it you can tell it shares a lot of similarities with chili, but calls for fresh green chiles and tomatoes (definitely a no-no in Texas chili). While I cooked this from her cookbook, the full recipe is also available on Homesick Texan's site, so there is no sense in reproducing it here. The only major change I made was using a mixture of pork shoulder and bottom round instead of just beef. I did this on a whim (because that's what looked good at the store), not for any specific reason, but I thought it came out great this way (though I have no point of comparison). The bottom round which was much better marbled than the pork, completely fell apart, imparting some nice body to the stew, while the pork stayed together in chunks - creating a nice contrast.

Pretty easy to prepare as most of the cooking time is hands off simmering and final dish is quite tasty. Not as complex as Texas chili, but quite hearty with a nice kick of heat. According to Homesick Texan you would traditionally serve it either in a bowl with some tortilla chips, with some refried beans and rice, or just wrapped up in a tortilla. As you can see I went with the simple bowl presentation, and enjoyed every bite.


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