Kitchen > Recipes > Papas con Carne (Mexican Beef and Potato Stew)

Papas con Carne (Mexican Beef and Potato Stew)

Papas Con Carne | Border Park Kitchen
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Gluten Free

For food allergies and intolerances, please carefully check the ingredient list on each product before using or consuming.


  • 500g beef stew meat, diced and patted dry with paper towel (see Peri’s tip below)
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 – ½ cups bone broth*
  • 1 – 2 tsp sea salt
  • Generous grind black pepper


  1. Preheat pot. Drizzle in a little oil of choice into a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot (with a lid), and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown beef. Once pot is warmed sufficiently, brown the beef, in batches, til nicely coloured on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  3. Sauté onion and garlic. Add the onion and garlic, stir well and cook for a few minutes until aromatic.
  4. Add remaining ingredients. Add beef and remaining ingredients to the pot and mix well.
  5. Boil. Bring to the boil, cover the pot and reduce heat to low.
  6. Simmer. Cook for 1 ½ hours, or until meat is tender.
  7. Taste and season. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve with:  

Warmed tortillas, or with Coastal-style Mexican rice, and steamed vegies.


For gluten-free, ensure your bone broth doesn’t contain traces of gluten.

  • Replace stew meat with mince (see time-saving tips).
  • Use beef, lamb or chicken bone broth, or 2 cups water and 2 tsp bone broth concentrate.
Boost the flavour:  

Add ½ – 2 tsp fresh or minced chilli, or garnish with fresh coriander.

Storage suggestions:  

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or the freezer for up to 4 months.

Time Saving Tips:  
  • To make this a quicker meal, substitute stew meat for beef mince, and reduce the final cooking time to 35 – 45 minutes.
  • Alternatively, for a ‘cook-while-you’re out’ meal, after browning stew meat, pop all the ingredients into a medium-size slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
Peri’s Tip:  

Please don’t use expensive prime cuts for this recipe. Save money, and go for the secondary steaks such as chuck, round, or blade. As a bonus, your stew will be more flavoursome and nutritious, especially if you cook it gently for 1 ½ – 2 hours.

Recipe Notes:

  • For a thicker gravy: make a paste with 1 tbsp plain flour or cornflour and 3 tbsp water, and slowly mix into stew. Cook for a further 15 minutes on low to ‘cook’ flour. If adding cornflour, it only needs an extra minute or two because it will thicken and be ready to serve almost immediately.

Peri's Recipe Reflections:

The weather has turned cold.

And that always makes me yearn for warm foods. Rich, comforting stews that warm my hands as I cup my bowl and fill my tummy. For a moment I can forget that I feel cold, and instead be grateful for deeply nourishing, soul-satisfying foods.

You may already have a ‘go-to’ stew that you can make without even opening your recipe book. And if your kids are a little older, perhaps they know how to make it because it appears so regularly at your house. (If so, high five to you!).

Admittedly we have a few stews that rotate on our menu plan, but this iconic Mexican dish is certainly one of the more popular. Although it might sound fancy, it’s really a simple stew made by combining two comfort foods – beef and potatoes – into a stew and prepared in a Mexican way.

This recipe is one that my hubby grew up with. It was the way his Abuelita  – his Mexican Grandmother who also lived on the same farm – frequently made a small amount of meat, either diced or minced, stretch to feed the frequent stream of visitors who visited her humble casa. For each extra person who arrived, she’d add an extra potato (hence the reason this recipe is known as Papas con Carne – Potatoes and Meat – and not the traditional name, Carne Guisada Con Papas).

It’s a meal that, when I serve, takes my hubby back to his childhood.

To the old wood stove where his beloved Abuelita spent most of her days. Forming masa into corn tortillas with her soft, brown hands, and keeping a careful eye on the pot of Mexican beans bubbling away gently.

He isn’t a man of many words. But when he does share his appreciation of me learning to cook the meals of his youth, it makes me happy.

And it makes me grateful for the opportunity to bless him in this simple way.

What about you? What meals do you prepare that your family really appreciate? Is there a memory that’s prompted when you make a particular dish? I’d love to hear your story based around a meal you love making.


Peri x


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