Margarita's International Recipes


Hilachas Chapinas

Guatemalan Shredded Beef

Recipe PDF (for printing)

Hilachas Chapinas is a very traditional dish from the center of Guatemala, that harkens back to Spain. It's similar to the Cuban ropa vieja, though it uses chiles native to Guatemala. I followed the recipe closely and I found it to be absolutely delicious.

Hilachas Chapinas


  • 2-3 lbs chuck or round roast
  • salt to taste
  • 1 large yellow onion, halvened
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 3 guajillo chilis
  • 2 lbs tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and sliced in rounds


Salt beef roast on all sides. Place beef roast and half of the onion in a large pot, cover with a quart of water, bring to a boil, reduce temperature to low and cook cover until the beef is cooked through, about 2 hours. Remove beef to a plate and let cool. Reserve stock. Once the beef is cool enouogh to handle, shredd with your hands. Set aside.

Remove the stems and seeds from the bell peppers and guajillo chilis. Cut the bell peppers in two. Add peppers, chilis, tomatoes, cilantro, cumin and remaining onion half to the beef stock. Simmer uncovered over low heat until all the vegetables are soft, about half an hour.

Carefully remove the skins from the tomatoes and the red peppers. Discard skins. Using an electric immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth. Alternatively, transfer (in batches if necessary) to a regular electric blender and then return the sauce to the pot.

Add the shredded beef and the potato rounds to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft, about fifteen minutes. Adjust seasoning.

Serve with rice.

Adapted from a recipe at Mejor Web.

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