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Carcamusas. Toledo recipe for meat stewed with tomato and a spicy touch

Carcamusas. Toledo recipe for meat stewed with tomato and a spicy touch

people icon For 6 euro icon € 1.6 /pers. calories icon 187 kcal/100g


  • 1 kg. lean pork
  • 125g. chorizo
  • 125g. Serrano ham (in tacos)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cayenne or chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 750 ml. tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of peas
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 80 ml. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt (to the taste of each house)
  • A touch of freshly ground black pepper (to the taste of each house and optional)

Walking through the streets of Toledo is to enjoy its history, its architecture, its cultures, but, above all, walking through the streets of Toledo is to climb hills. Who would think there are so many hills in one city!

After dedicating all that energy that is needed to enjoy one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, the best thing is to enjoy its excellent local cuisine. And what better way to regain strength than a good plate of Carcamusas?

For those of you who are not familiar, Carcamusas are one of the great classics of Toledo. An emblematic meat recipe from the capital of La Mancha that consists of one of those combinations that never fails: lean pork and tomato . And, of course, a touch of spice that gives life to this traditional recipe.

To make Carcamusas it is advisable to prepare a good homemade tomato sauce . We can use prepared fried tomato, but you already know that the result is not the same. Although it takes a while to make homemade fried tomato, we recommend that you plan a menu with a few tomato dishes and make a good quantity in one batch. This way time is used well and we give joy to the palate.

The origin of the Carcamusas

Normally, when there is a dish with a name as peculiar as this, it has a curious story behind it. In the case of Carcamusas, it is said that the story comes from Bar Ludeña (a place that is still active in Toledo). There, the owner José Ludeña would name this dish in the last century in honor of his clients . It is believed that this curious name had to do with the fact that the bar was frequented by older men (or carcas , in colloquial language ) and not so old female companions (who were called muses ) . The name of the carca-musas was born from this picturesque local town. But beyond the legends, what we know to be true is that the dish is delicious, so let’s get to work.

Preparation of Toledo Carcamusas

  1. The first thing we will do is cut the meat if we do not already have it chopped and remove the parts that are too fatty.
  2. We prepare a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and a chilli. We are going to fry the chilli for a couple of minutes and then we are going to remove it.
  3. We raise the heat of that same pan and add the pieces of meat. It is important that the heat is very high and the oil hot, because what we want is to brown the pieces of meat without cooking them inside. Come on, let it be juicy. To facilitate this, it is better to fry in batches, this way we will prevent the oil from cooling down.
  4. Afterwards, we must season with salt and pepper in the same pan and reserve the meat for later, without removing the oil from the pan. In this same room we are going to brown some garlic and an onion, both finely chopped. When the onion begins to become transparent or we see that the garlic takes color, we return the meat to the pan.
  5. We are going to pour a good splash of white wine into the pan, letting it cook over high heat until it boils. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat to minimum and let it cook for about ten minutes, until the wine reduces.
  6. While the meat is cooking, we are going to chop the chorizo ​​and ham into small cubes. When the ten minutes have passed, we add them to the pan and let them cook for a couple of minutes so that the meat takes on flavor.
  7. Then, we are going to add the peas and let it cook for another couple of minutes. The next thing will be to add the tomato sauce. When we have added it to the pan, we are going to let it cook for half an hour on low heat. The meat will be super tender.
  8. The only thing left is to test the salt level and correct if necessary. Afterwards, we can serve it in a clay pot, as tradition dictates (or on a plate if we don’t have one) and enjoy.

What a treat! If you have tried this dish in Toledo, you will surely want to prepare it at home, so there is no excuse. If you haven’t been lucky enough to try it yet, what are you waiting for?

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