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Carne Seca in Phoenix?

Deenso Sep 29, 2008 12:36 PM

I tasted carne seca for the first time a couple of years ago at Mi Nidito in Tucson. We'll be back in Phoenix next month and I'd really love to have it again, but I've never seen it on a menu there. Then again, I haven't been to every restaurant in Phoenix or environs. Can anybody suggest an alternative to pestering my husband to drive all the way to Tucson and back for just this one dish? He'd do just about anything for me, but that's ridiculous.

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    desertsun RE: Deenso Sep 29, 2008 05:31 PM

    Well, being a BIG fan of Mi Nidito, I can't say that'd be a wasted trip. I've not had their carne seca, since I just can't get past having the President's platter each and every time. Except for the bean tostada, that whole platter is just completely exceptional; chile relleno, chicken enchilada, tamales, birria taco. Every item is wonderful. I do usually get the carne seca at El Charro, though I really like the version at El Molinito. Can't say one is better than the other, just very different. And since I've never seen carne seca on the menu anywhere other than Tucson, a trip down here may be necessary. Just don't regret it, as the trip just for Mi Nidito would be worth it, in my humble opinion.

    1. twodogs RE: Deenso Sep 29, 2008 08:45 PM

      Carne seca seems to be a Tucson thing,I've seen it on the menu in several places down there but I have never seen it on a menu in the Phoenix area.

      1. hohokam RE: Deenso Sep 29, 2008 08:56 PM

        Not sure if they make anything with it or if they just sell it "to go", but the place where I ate lunch today (Taqueria Sinaloa/Pescaderia Sinaloa) had carne seca/jerky for sale in their store. Next time I eat there, I'll try to see if the taqueria menu lists any carne seca dishes.

        Pescaderia Sinaloa
        2622 E Mcdowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ

        1. ipsedixit RE: Deenso Sep 29, 2008 10:14 PM

          Ranch Market sells carne seca.


          5 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            ginael RE: ipsedixit Sep 30, 2008 09:00 PM

            It's funny, but as Phx native whose family regularly cooks Sonoran fare, I can't ever recall eating carne seca. Sounds delicious, though. Anyone have thoughts on why it might be a Tucson specialty?

            1. re: ginael
              aztami RE: ginael Sep 30, 2008 09:24 PM

              my thoughts exactly..........what EXACTLY is it and whay cut of beef is used??

              1. re: aztami
                ipsedixit RE: aztami Sep 30, 2008 10:08 PM

                Carne seca reminds me of machaca.

                I think just about any cheap cut of meat can be used, e.g. chuck, brisket, roast, etc.

                1. re: aztami
                  Deenso RE: aztami Oct 1, 2008 07:21 AM

                  I don't know what cut it is, but it's beef that's been sliced, salted and dried. Then it's reconstituted and used in cooked preparations. Kind of like dried salt cod, I suppose, or jerky.

                  1. re: Deenso
                    hohokam RE: Deenso Oct 1, 2008 08:35 AM

                    Machaca is essentially reconstituted carne seca/cecina/jerky. I think up here in Phoenix, we tend to see a "wetter" version of machaca than one would find closer to the border or in Mexico (hence my disappointment with the positively soupy machaca served at Carolina's). My most recent positive experience with machaca was at a dinner party hosted by a couple of friends from Sonora. Unfortunately, I can't remember the last time (or place) I had machaca that I really liked in a local restaurant.

                    As far as the cut goes, I agree that producers most likely use cheaper, tougher cuts. Rick Bayless, in "Authentic Mexican", recommends using eye of round, a whole round, or a sirloin tip roast cut for the home cook.

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