A Mexican Feast

If you read my post last week about the cooking app that lets me eat out every day, you might get the impression that I don’t like to cook.  That’s not the case.  I love to cook.  In fact, I used to do it for a living before I became a teacher.  What I don’t like is the day-to-day chore of trying to come up with ideas to feed two people.  But give me an opportunity to put together something special for an occasion, I’m all in.  This weekend provided such an opportunity when my niece and her husband came for a visit.

My sweet nephew loves his Auntie Susie’s cooking, especially if I make a Mexican meal.  Nearly thirty years in San Antonio provided me with a lot of experience in that arena.  Friday was my trip to the grocery store to gather my supplies, and on Saturday morning I began my preparations.  After all day of me chopping, sautéing, simmering and baking (and using every pot and pan in my kitchen), we sat down to a wonderful meal of carne guisada (the recipe follows), Spanish rice, borracho beans, and guacamole salad.  Looking at the contented faces of my niece and nephew, I’d say the meal was a success.

Here is the recipe for the Carne Guisada:

1 1/2 pounds beef tips (use a chuck roast, remove all visible fat) cut in bite-size pieces
3 Tablespoons white or whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 fresh jalpeno or Serrano peppers, remove seeds and ribs, mince
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef stock
1 Tablespoon low-sodium tomato paste
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground (may use ground comino)
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Dust the meat cubes with flour and brown in oil in ovenproof Dutch oven
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the guisada to a simmer on the stove
  4. Cover the pot and place in the oven.  Stir the pot every 30 minutes, adding small amount of stock if needed.  The dish should be thick, without much liquid when done.
  5. Bake for about 2 1/2 hours, until meat is falling apart tender.

Note:  This is the “Gringo” version, mild for my non-Texan niece and nephew.  If you are serving this to people who do not like their food too spicy, the recipe is perfect as is.  If, however, you are like we are, you might want to spice this up with an added bit of chipotle chile with a little bit of the adobo sauce it is packed in.  Just remember a little goes a long way.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Hope you try this! 

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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29 Responses to A Mexican Feast

  1. Leah says:

    That looks SO good! I love making Mexican food!

  2. I can’t wait to try it…it sounds delicious! My recipe book can always use a fresh idea.

    It was also a treat to see your niece again…I think I was a newbie follower just about the time of her wedding. You are both lucky to share that great relationship!

  3. That looks great! Now that I know you have an iPad, do you have Epicurious? Great app. You can even print out a shopping list.

  4. sliceofshanghai says:

    I agree with you that it’s a bigger struggle to come up with meal ideas than cooking itself. But you sound like a wonderful cook! Judging from the smiles, your niece and nephew must have enjoyed your cooking a lot!

  5. pattisj says:

    Looks yummy! So glad they came to visit you.

  6. Jenny says:

    That looks wonderful! Thanks for including the pictures! I am more willing to consider a new recipe if I see photos.

  7. E.C. says:

    You’re a wonderful Aunt. What a delicious feast you made for them. Yummy!
    Your recipe looks mighty tasty. 🙂

  8. gaycarboys says:

    Nxt time I come to the US I am SO eating at your place LOL. That looks scrumptious. I adore mexican food.

  9. Amy says:

    Looks so good…It makes me hungry. Did you make the rice too? Does it go with tortilla? I will try to make the dish and let you know. Thanks, Susan!

  10. OH, that sounds absolutely delicious! I hear you though…every day I say to myself: great! I have to come up with yet ANOTHER dinner idea? Does this ever end? (then I stop and pick up a pizza)

    • Coming East says:

      It gets old very quickly, doesn’t it Darla? I think it was worse when I had kids because I was tired after working all day and they had activities to get to so we were always in a hurry. Hate cooking under those circumstances.

  11. oh, that looks goood… I’d eat it with a Coke to drink. Yum.

  12. Looks yummy!! Thanks for the recipe. I hope you all had a great visit!

  13. kd sullivan says:

    Yum! I feel the same way about cooking for smaller amounts of people. Maybe I should just pretend that I’m cooking for an event, and then freeze the food? I’ve missed reading your writing…I’ve kind of been on blogging survival mode and haven’t done much reading. I’m so glad to be here… 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      I know how you feel, KD. It is all I can do to get a post out these days, and I just can’t keep up with all the reading, even though I love to see what everyone’s thoughts are. I almost have to choose between writing and reading, but you really can’t have one without the other.

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