Guatemalan Hilachas Recipe

Guatemalan Hilachas served with rice and black beans
Guatemalan Hilachas served with rice and black beans
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Hilachas is a popular Guatemalan recipe made of cooked and shredded beef that is simmered in a mildly spicy tomatillo-tomato sauce. Pair it with a side of rice and fresh corn tortillas for a full meal.

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Guatemalan Hilachas served with rice and black beans

Guatemalan Hilachas Recipe

Mike Gonzalez
Hilachas is a dish originating in Guatemalan cuisine that is similar to ropa vieja.
Prep Time 1 hr 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Guatemalan
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 lbs beef flank steak or skirt steak cubed
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 -3 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup tomatillo chopped
  • 2 -3 guajillo chilies warmed over a flame, deseeded and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb potato peeled and chopped
  • 2 -3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped


  • Place the beef, water and a big pinch of salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until the beef is very tender.
  • Remove the beef to a bowl, reserving the broth, and set aside to cool
  • When cool enough to handle, shred the beef with your fingers and set aside.
  • While the beef is simmering, place the onion, tomatoes, tomatillos and chiles in a food processor or blender and puree, adding a little water if necessary.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium flame. Add the onion-tomato puree and simmer until the puree is cooked down and darkens somewhat in color, about 10 minutes. Do not burn.
  • Add the shredded beef and about 3 cups of the broth to the onion-tomato puree and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the potatoes, onions and a little more broth or water if necessary Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Stir in the breadcrumbs to thicken the sauce.
  • Then stir in the chopped cilantro, adjust seasoning and serve hot with corn tortillas or rice.
Keyword shreaded beef
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