Cooking a delicious chuck roast, or carne para guisar, in Spanish cuisine can be a deeply satisfying experience. It's a dish that's full of flavor and perfect for any time of year, especially as a warm, comforting meal on a chilly day. In Spain, a classic chuck roast is made with heartiness and love, and it's a staple in many family traditions. This instructional post provides you with a traditional Spanish recipe for "Carne para Guisar," right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Chuck Roast in Spanish

Ingredients List

Here's what you'll need to make the perfect Spanish chuck roast:

  • 3 lbs chuck roast (preferably with a good marbling)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup red wine (Spanish if possible)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for browning

The key to this recipe is slow cooking, which enhances the tenderness and flavor of the chuck roast.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions


  1. Begin by patting your chuck roast dry with paper towels. This helps the seasoning stick to the meat and will also encourage good browning during the cooking process.
  2. Season your chuck roast generously with salt, pepper, sweet paprika, and ground cumin. This mix of seasonings will pack a punch of flavor in every bite.
  3. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. You want it hot enough to sear the meat but not so hot that the olive oil starts to smoke.

Searing the Meat

  1. Carefully add the seasoned chuck roast to the hot oil and sear it on all sides until they are deep brown. This process caramelizes the meat, which is essential for flavor development.

Creating the Base

  1. Once your chuck roast is browned, set it aside on a clean plate. Add the chopped onion to the same pot and cook until translucent. This process releases the fond stuck to the bottom of the pot, which adds great depth to the sauce.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning the garlic.
  3. Deglaze your pot with the red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. This step is crucial as it infuses the sauce with the flavor of the wine.
  4. Return the seared chuck roast to the pot. Pour in the beef broth until the liquid comes halfway up the side of the meat.

Slow Cooking

  1. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for at least 2 hours. You can also transfer the pot to an oven preheated to 300°F if you prefer.
  2. After the first hour of cooking, add the diced tomatoes and dried bay leaves. This will add a fresh burst of flavor and the bay leaves will infuse the meat with their aroma as it cooks.
  3. Check the chuck roast periodically as it cooks, and if the liquid level drops, add more beef broth to maintain the moist cooking environment.

Finishing Touches

  1. About 30 minutes before the chuck roast is done, add the carrots and potatoes to the pot. This timing ensures they cook through but don't become mushy.
  2. Once the chuck roast is fork-tender, remove the bay leaves and discard them. Carefully transfer the chuck roast to a serving platter and surround it with the cooked vegetables.
  3. Pour the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the onions, garlic, and any other solids. Serve the chuck roast with this rich and savory sauce.

Tips and Tricks

Marinating the Roast

To take your chuck roast to the next level, you can marinate it for 12–24 hours before cooking. Combine a cup of Spanish red wine with a splash of olive oil, a few crushed garlic cloves, and sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme. This will infuse the meat with even more flavor.

Adjusting Flavors

During the slow cooking process, it's a good idea to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remember, you can always add more salt, but you can't take it away, so go easy at first and check your progress.

Enhancing Texture

If you want a thicker sauce to accompany your chuck roast, you can mix a tablespoon of flour or cornstarch with a bit of the cooking liquid to make a slurry. Whisk this back into the main pot and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Serving Suggestions

Traditional Accompaniments

In Spain, chuck roast is often served with a simple green salad and crusty bread to soak up the sauce. You can also serve the meat alongside some Spanish rice for a rich and satisfying meal.

Wine Pairing

For an authentic experience, pair your chuck roast with a Spanish red wine. Rioja or Tempranillo wines are good choices as they complement the richness of the meat and sauce.


Cooking chuck roast, or carne para guitar, in the Spanish style is a fantastic way to bring the flavors of Spain into your home. With a bit of patience and these easy-to-follow steps, you can create a hearty and delicious meal that the whole family will love. Don't be afraid to make this recipe your own with personal touches and unique flavors. Enjoy the process, savor the meal, and buy provecho!

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