Carne Mecha Recipe from Puerto Rico - Bold and Flavorful Beef Dish

Carne Mecha

Carne Mecha Recipe from Puerto Rico - Bold and Flavorful Beef Dish
Region / culture: Puerto Rico | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 3 hours | Servings: 6-8


Carne Mecha
Carne Mecha

Carne Mechada is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that features a succulent eye round roast stuffed with a flavorful combination of chorizo, ham, onions, and peppers. This dish is slow-cooked in a rich tomato sauce until the meat is tender and juicy, making it a perfect meal for special occasions or family gatherings.


Carne Mechada has its roots in Spanish cuisine, with influences from the indigenous Taino people of Puerto Rico. The dish has evolved over the years to incorporate local ingredients and flavors, resulting in a unique and delicious recipe that is loved by many.


How to prepare

  1. Rinse the eye round under cold water and pat it dry.
  2. Cut deep pockets into one end of the roast.
  3. Stuff the pockets with a combination of chorizo, ham, onions, peppers, and.
  4. Sew the pockets closed with butcher's cord.
  5. Rub the meat with adobo.
  6. Pour 3 tbsp of olive oil into a heavy pot and heat it up.
  7. Place the meat in the pot and brown it on all sides until it turns golden brown.
  8. Remove the meat from the pot and deglaze the bottom with either chicken or beef broth.
  9. Make sure to scrape up all the brown drippings.
  10. Pour the broth with the drippings into a cup or bowl and set it aside.
  11. Rinse the pot with hot water, do not use any soap, dry it, and return it to the stove.
  12. Pour in the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil and heat it up.
  13. Add the sofrito and stir until it starts to bubble.
  14. Add one tablespoon of vinegar and two cans of tomato sauce.
  15. Continue stirring and add broth.
  16. Bring it to a simmer.
  17. Return the meat to the pot, cover it, and cook it slowly on low to medium heat for about 3 hours.
  18. Check the meat by inserting a fork to see if it is cooking inwardly, then turn it over.
  19. Stir and check the sauce every 30 minutes.
  20. If you feel that it needs more liquid, add a little more broth.
  21. Remember, we are looking for a sauce that has a medium texture, not heavy and thick.
  22. Taste for salt and pepper, and add if needed.
  23. Place the potatoes in a pot of boiling water and blanch them for about 8 to 10 minutes, then drain and set them aside.
  24. Deep fry the potatoes until they turn golden brown and tender, but not soft, then set them aside.
  25. When the roast is done, remove it from the pot and let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
  26. Place the potatoes in the pot with the gravy and let them simmer slowly on low heat for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are completely tender but not falling apart.
  27. Slice the roast and serve it on a platter surrounded by the potatoes.
  28. Pour the gravy into a gravy server and pour it over the meat and individual servings.


  • For a spicier version, add some chopped jalapenos or hot sauce to the tomato sauce.
  • Substitute the eye round roast with pork loin or chicken breast for a different flavor profile.
  • Add some diced carrots or celery to the sauce for extra vegetables and nutrients.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to brown the meat on all sides before slow-cooking it to seal in the juices and enhance the flavor.

- Keep an eye on the sauce while the meat is cooking, adding more broth if needed to maintain a medium texture.

- Let the meat rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute and ensure a tender result.

Serving Suggestions

Carne Mechada is traditionally served with a side of white rice and a simple salad. You can also pair it with some crusty bread or plantains for a complete and delicious meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key to making a delicious Carne Mechada is to brown the meat well before slow-cooking it in the tomato sauce. This helps to develop rich flavors and ensures a tender result. Be sure to check the meat periodically and add more broth if needed to maintain a medium sauce texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you can't find chorizo, you can substitute it with another type of sausage or omit it altogether. You can also use different types of peppers or olives to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to get creative and customize this recipe to your liking.

Make Ahead Tips

Carne Mechada can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. Simply prepare the dish as directed, let it cool, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the oven until heated through, and enjoy!

Presentation Ideas

To make Carne Mechada even more visually appealing, garnish the dish with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro before serving. You can also serve it on a bed of rice or mashed potatoes for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Carne Mechada pairs well with a variety of side dishes, including white rice, plantains, or a simple salad. For drinks, consider serving it with a glass of red wine or a cold beer to complement the rich flavors of the dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Carne Mechada can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply place the dish in a pot on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a little extra broth to maintain the sauce consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Carne Mechada is approximately 400-500 calories, depending on the portion size and ingredients used. This dish is a hearty and satisfying meal that is perfect for special occasions or family gatherings.


Carne Mechada is a protein-rich dish, with minimal carbohydrates. The potatoes in the recipe provide some carbohydrates, but overall, this dish is a great option for those looking to limit their carb intake.


The olive oil used in this recipe provides healthy fats that are essential for overall health. While the chorizo and ham add some saturated fats, the dish is balanced with the use of lean eye round roast.


Carne Mechada is a protein-packed dish, thanks to the eye round roast, chorizo, and ham. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, making this dish a great option for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of ingredients used. The onions, peppers, and olives provide essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium, while the potatoes offer a good source of vitamin B6 and potassium.


This recipe contains allergens such as soy (in the adobo rub), gluten (in the chorizo), and potentially dairy (in the sofrito). Be sure to check for any allergies or dietary restrictions before preparing this dish.


Carne Mechada is a well-rounded dish that offers a balance of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. While it is a hearty and satisfying meal, it is important to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Carne Mechada is a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for special occasions or family gatherings. With a combination of tender eye round roast, savory chorizo, and a rich tomato sauce, this dish is sure to impress your guests and become a new favorite in your recipe collection. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately drawn to it. It was called Carne Mecha, a dish that hailed from the beautiful country of Venezuela. The recipe was handed down to me by my dear friend, Maria, who was a wonderful cook herself.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Maria invited me over to her home for a cooking lesson, and I was thrilled at the opportunity to learn something new. As soon as I walked into her kitchen, the aroma of spices and herbs filled the air, making my mouth water in anticipation.

Maria greeted me with a warm smile and handed me a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade. She then proceeded to show me how to make Carne Mecha, a traditional Venezuelan dish made with tender shredded beef, onions, bell peppers, and a flavorful tomato sauce.

As she guided me through the process, I watched in awe as she effortlessly chopped, sautéed, and simmered the ingredients to perfection. Her hands moved with grace and precision, a testament to her years of experience in the kitchen.

I listened intently as Maria shared the story behind the recipe. She told me that Carne Mecha was a popular dish in Venezuela, often served at family gatherings and special occasions. It was a labor of love, requiring time and patience to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.

After several hours of cooking and simmering, the Carne Mecha was finally ready. Maria plated the dish with a generous serving of fluffy white rice and a side of sweet plantains. The colors and aromas that filled the room were simply mesmerizing.

As I took my first bite, I was transported to a culinary paradise. The beef was tender and juicy, with hints of garlic, cumin, and paprika dancing on my taste buds. The sweetness of the plantains complemented the savory flavors perfectly, creating a culinary symphony that was nothing short of divine.

From that day on, Carne Mecha became a staple in my own kitchen. I would often make it for my family and friends, sharing the recipe with anyone who asked. Each time I cooked it, I would think of Maria and the wonderful memories we shared in her kitchen.

Over the years, I have made a few tweaks to the recipe, adding my own personal touch to make it truly my own. But the essence of Carne Mecha remains the same – a dish that brings people together, celebrates tradition, and fills the soul with warmth and happiness.

As I sit here reminiscing about that fateful day in Maria's kitchen, I am filled with gratitude for the gift of her friendship and the joy of discovering a new recipe that has become a cherished part of my culinary repertoire. Carne Mecha will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the power of food to connect us to our roots and bring us closer to those we love.


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