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Carne Deshebrada

Cooks Illustrated, March/April 2014
8 servings
Prep info
10 minutes prep + 3 hours
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
3 hours, 10 minutes
Time required
3 hours, 10 minutes
Oven preheat
Mains - Misc


  • 1.5 c beer (Guinness, of course)
  • 1/2 c cider vinegar
  • 1 T ancho chile powder
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 6 cloves peeled garlic (lightly crushed)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 t cumin
  • 2 t oregano
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 c sliced onion (1/2-inch thick rounds)
  • 3 lb chopped stew beef


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine beer, vinegar, anchos, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cloves, and cinnamon in Dutch oven. Arrange onion rounds in single layer on bottom of pot. Place beef on top of onion rounds in single layer. Cover and cook until meat is well browned and tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to large bowl, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and set aside. Strain liquid through fine-mesh strainer into 2-cup liquid measuring cup (do not wash pot). Discard onion rounds and bay leaves. Transfer remaining solids to blender. Let strained liquid settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat off surface. Add water as needed to equal 1 cup. Pour liquid in blender with reserved solids and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer sauce to now-empty pot.
Using two forks, shred beef into bite-size pieces. Bring sauce to simmer over medium heat. Add shredded beef and stir to coat. Serve with rice, in burritos, etc.