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Sep 29, 2008 12:36 PM

Carne Seca in Phoenix?

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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  1. 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. 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. 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. re: ipsedixit

            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

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

              1. re: aztami

                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

                  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

                    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.