Carne guisada, a hearty beef stew packed with Caribbean flavors, is my absolute favorite Puerto Rican meal. There’s always something comforting about this meal that makes me feel close to home, and especially close to my family. I make this dish every week for my children, but when I do I eat it all day too.
Place the beef in a medium bowl, sprinkle with the adobo, toss to coat and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring frequently, until seared and mostly browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly to avoid burning, until the meat is coated. Stir in the carrots, potatoes and sofrito until coated. Stir in the sazón until coated. Stir in the olives and bay leaves. Add 4 cups water or enough to fully cover the beef and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour.
Remove the stew from the heat and adjust the seasoning if needed. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the cilantro before serving with white rice.
Substituting rib-eye for chuck roast will cut the cooking time in half.