Spicy Braised Beef Cemitas

By • July 12, 2016 0 Comments

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Spicy Braised Beef Cemitas

Author Notes: I'm obsessed with cemitas—flavorful meat on a soft, tender cemitas roll. This is my favorite combo: slow braised spicy beef, thinly sliced raw onions, shredded cheese, avocado, and salsa. But be warned: these sandwiches are seriously, addictively good. Erin McDowell


Makes 4 sandwiches

Spicy Braised Beef

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon caynne pepper
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat (cubed chuck, round, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 4 cemitas rolls (https://food52.com/recipes/59490-cemitas-rolls), halved
  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup salsa roja (smooth, thin salsa is best - but your favorite always works!)
  1. Make the braised beef: Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Season the beef all over with the spices, making sure to thoroughly coat all sides.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sear the beef until it's browned all over, then remove from the pot.
  3. Add the onions to the pot and saute over medium low heat until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to deglaze the pot.
  4. Add the beef back to the pot, and stir well to combine. Add the broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the beef is very tender, about 4 hours. Remove the cover from the pot and continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced by about 2/3 (the beef will be saucy instead of soupy), about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours more.
  5. Shred the beef with two forks. Now you're ready to make a sandwich!
  6. Divide the beef between the four rolls, and top each with red onions, avocado, cheese, and cilantro leaves. Finish with a spoonful of salsa, and top with the other half of the bun. Eat, eat, eat that bad boy.

More Great Recipes: Sandwiches