Carne Seca Recipe from Mexico | Ingredients: Steak, Oregano, Salt, Red Wine Vinegar, Onions, Garlic, Black Pepper, Liquid Smoke

Carne Seca

Carne Seca Recipe from Mexico | Ingredients: Steak, Oregano, Salt, Red Wine Vinegar, Onions, Garlic, Black Pepper, Liquid Smoke
Region / culture: Mexico | Preparation time: overnight | Cooking time: 6 hours | Servings: 4-6


Carne Seca
Carne Seca

Carne Seca, also known as dried beef, is a traditional Latin American dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. This flavorful and tender meat is perfect for adding to soups, stews, tacos, and more. In this recipe, we will show you how to make your own delicious Carne Seca at home.


Carne Seca has a long history in Latin American cuisine, dating back to the time of the Aztecs and Mayans. The process of drying meat was used as a way to preserve it for long periods of time, allowing people to have a source of protein even when fresh meat was not readily available. Today, Carne Seca is still a popular dish in many Latin American countries, loved for its rich flavor and versatility in cooking.


How to prepare

  1. Place all ingredients in a plastic zipper bag and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, if using your oven to dry, cover your oven racks with foil and preheat the oven to 180°F (82°C).
  3. Transfer the drained meat to baking racks and dry for approximately 6 hours.
  4. Place a couple of potholders in the oven door to keep it slightly ajar, allowing moisture to escape and the meat to dry more thoroughly.


  • You can customize this recipe by adding different spices and seasonings to the marinade, such as chili powder, cumin, or paprika. You can also experiment with different cuts of meat, such as beef or venison, to create your own unique version of Carne Seca.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

When making Carne Seca, it's important to use lean flank steak to ensure that the meat dries properly and has a tender texture. Additionally, marinating the meat overnight helps to infuse it with flavor and tenderize it further. Be sure to dry the meat in a low-temperature oven for several hours to achieve the perfect texture.

Serving Suggestions

Carne Seca can be enjoyed on its own as a snack or added to a variety of dishes, such as tacos, burritos, soups, and salads. Serve it with rice, beans, and fresh salsa for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key to making delicious Carne Seca is to dry the meat slowly at a low temperature to ensure that it retains its flavor and texture. Be sure to monitor the drying process closely to prevent the meat from becoming too dry or tough.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have flank steak on hand, you can use another lean cut of beef, such as sirloin or round steak, as a substitute. You can also use chicken or turkey as a lean protein alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

Carne Seca can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the dried meat for longer storage, allowing you to enjoy Carne Seca whenever you like.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Carne Seca on a platter with fresh herbs, lime wedges, and tortilla chips for a festive and appetizing presentation. You can also garnish the dish with chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, and avocado slices for added flavor and color.

Pairing Recommendations

Carne Seca pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as rice, beans, grilled vegetables, and cornbread. You can also serve it with a side of guacamole, salsa, or sour cream for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Carne Seca in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, simply place the dried meat in a preheated oven at 350°F (177°C) for a few minutes until warmed through. You can also rehydrate the meat by soaking it in warm water or broth before using it in recipes.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Carne Seca contains approximately 250 calories, making it a moderate-calorie dish that can fit into a balanced diet.


Carne Seca is a low-carb dish, making it a great option for those following a low-carb or keto diet. Each serving contains only a small amount of carbohydrates, primarily from the marinade ingredients.


Carne Seca is a lean protein source, with minimal fat content. The lean flank steak used in this recipe provides a healthy source of protein without adding excess fat to the dish.


Carne Seca is a protein-rich dish, with each serving providing a substantial amount of protein. The lean flank steak used in this recipe is a great source of high-quality protein, making Carne Seca a satisfying and nutritious meal option.

Vitamins and minerals

Carne Seca is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and B vitamins. These nutrients are important for overall health and well-being, making Carne Seca a nutritious addition to your diet.


This recipe contains no common allergens, making it suitable for those with food allergies or sensitivities. However, be sure to check the ingredients for any potential allergens before preparing the dish.


Carne Seca is a nutritious and flavorful dish that is low in carbohydrates and fats, high in protein, and rich in essential vitamins and minerals. This traditional Latin American recipe is a great option for those looking for a healthy and satisfying meal.


Carne Seca is a delicious and nutritious dish that is easy to make at home. With its rich flavor, tender texture, and versatility in cooking, Carne Seca is sure to become a favorite in your household. Enjoy this traditional Latin American recipe as a snack, meal, or ingredient in your favorite dishes.

How did I get this recipe?

I distinctly remember the first time I saw this recipe for Carne Seca. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Mexico. My grandmother, Abuela Rosa, was known throughout the village for her delicious cooking and she had a special talent for creating mouth-watering dishes out of simple ingredients.

One day, Abuela Rosa invited me into the kitchen to help her prepare a traditional Mexican meal. As we worked side by side, she began to tell me the story of how she learned to make Carne Seca, a dish that has been passed down in our family for generations.

She explained that Carne Seca, which translates to "dried meat" in English, is a traditional Mexican dish made from thinly sliced beef that has been marinated in a special blend of spices and then dried in the sun. The meat is then rehydrated and cooked with onions, tomatoes, and peppers to create a savory and flavorful stew.

Abuela Rosa told me that she had learned to make Carne Seca from her own grandmother, who had learned the recipe from her mother before her. She explained that the dish had been a staple in our family for as long as anyone could remember, and that each generation had added their own twist to the recipe to make it uniquely their own.

As we worked together in the kitchen, Abuela Rosa showed me how to marinate the beef in a blend of garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. She explained that the key to making Carne Seca was to let the meat marinate for at least 24 hours to allow the flavors to fully develop.

After the meat had finished marinating, Abuela Rosa showed me how to lay the slices out in the sun to dry. She explained that in the past, the meat would have been dried outdoors on a wooden rack, but nowadays we used a dehydrator to speed up the process.

Once the meat was dried, Abuela Rosa rehydrated it in a pot of boiling water before adding in the onions, tomatoes, and peppers. As the stew simmered on the stove, filling the kitchen with its savory aroma, Abuela Rosa told me stories of her own childhood and the memories she had of learning to cook with her grandmother.

Finally, after hours of simmering, the Carne Seca was ready. Abuela Rosa ladled steaming bowls of the stew into plates and garnished them with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. As we sat down to eat, she told me that the key to making a truly delicious Carne Seca was patience and love.

As I took my first bite of the savory stew, I could taste the history and tradition that had been passed down through the generations. I felt a deep connection to my ancestors and the women who had come before me, all of whom had lovingly prepared this dish for their families.

And as I savored each mouthful of the rich and flavorful Carne Seca, I knew that I would pass this recipe down to my own grandchildren one day, just as Abuela Rosa had done for me. For in the simple act of cooking and sharing a meal, we were preserving our family's history and creating new memories that would be cherished for years to come.


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