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Texas Kitchen: Larry’s carne guisada recipe

Photo by Kimberly Davis

Olga Humphreys received her AAA membership more than 40 years ago as a gift from her husband, Larry, on their wedding day, because he never wanted her to be stranded. Much later, Larry gave her another gift: his special spin on her mother’s carne guisada recipe. In their San Antonio kitchen, they often whipped up this dish together for the family as well as for their Bible study group.

So, what was Larry’s secret spin on the original recipe? He nixed the green bell peppers that Olga’s mom favored and cooked the beef for two extra hours in a slow cooker, thickening the gravy and tenderizing the meat. And while Larry passed away in 2018, his spirit lives on in many ways, including in this recipe, which was one of the family’s favorites.

Larry's carne guisada


4 servings

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups water


In a pan over medium heat, sauté the beef in the oil until light brown. Add the onion and stir well. Add the garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir. Then add the flour. Stir the flour well so it will not clump and until the flour is brown. Add the water. Stir well and transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook for one hour on high, then adjust the temperature to the low setting and cook for two more hours. Serve with warm tortillas, rice, and beans.

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