Carne en su jugo (or, beef in its own juices) is a tomatillo, beef, and bean-based stew that originates from Guadalajara, Mexico, the capital of the state of Jalisco.
Carne en su jugo is not a recipe that’s typical of what Americans are accustomed to with Mexican food. Instead of Americanized fare with a lot of cheese and red tomatoes, this recipe makes use of tomatillos to lend a tart and tangy quality to the stew.
If you love the zip that tomatillos give you, you’ll love this recipe.
If the sourness of tomatillos isn’t for you, you might want to try something different. Carne con Chile Verde is a beef stew that uses New Mexico chiles rather than tomatillos for its green color.
If you’re adventurous and want to try something new, let’s get started!
What is Carne en su Jugo?
Carne en su Jugo means beef in its own juices in Spanish.
The method for cooking the beef that’s called for in this recipe runs counter to what we’ve been taught when searing beef for stew.
- Try one of our 12 salsa recipes to help you master Taco Night.
Typically, to sear the beef, we throw it in a hot pan, leaving plenty of space between each piece so that they sear properly. If they’re too close together, they’ll steam instead of searing.
We cook the meat in exactly the opposite fashion here. We throw it all in at once so that the beef will release its juices, and those juices won’t all steam away.
This flavorful liquid will become the base for the stew’s broth.
The Garnish is Critical
Although the big pile of crispy bacon is excellent, this recipe truly shines with plenty of fresh garnishes to balance out the tang of the tomatillos.
I like to throw plenty of thinly sliced radishes, cilantro, and diced white onions in mine. The earthy and peppery radishes especially shine, so if you’re a radish lover, don’t skimp on them with this recipe.
One final note: Although the recipe calls for seeding and de-veining the serrano peppers, this stew is one that’s much better hot than mild. If you like spicy food, you should consider getting aggressive with the heat. Maybe don’t cut out those veins and seeds.
Carne en su Jugo – Beef in its Own Juices
- 2 lbs. sirloin steak - Cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt - divided
- 12 oz. bacon - diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 4 medium tomatillos
- 2 large serrano peppers - stemmed, seeded, and chopped (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic - peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 large white onion - diced
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/3 cup cilantro - chopped
- 2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans - drained
- 1/2 medium white onion - finely diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro - minced
- 1 cup radishes - thinly sliced, or chopped
- flour tortillas - heated in the microwave or toasted
- Cut the sirloin steak into 1/4-inch cubes, then season with the kosher salt and set aside.
- Put the tomatillos into a saucepan with enough water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and add to a blender jar along with the garlic, onions, serranos, black pepper, and chicken stock. Blend until smooth.
- Preheat your cast-iron dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon has released most of its fat and has become crispy. About 10 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease (I recommend pouring it into a heat-proof container and saving it for another recipe).
- Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the cubed sirloin all at once. Cook undisturbed until the beef begins to release its juice, then cook, stirring constantly until the meat is browned. About 8 minutes.
- Add the tomatillo puree and cilantro to your dutch oven, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add the drained pinto beans, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- To serve, add to bowls, then top with the bacon and your fresh garnishes. Heat some flour tortillas in the microwave or oven and serve on the side.