Carne en su Jugó is a deliciously simple brothy beef stew. It has deep beef flavor, tender bites of sirloin, creamy pinto beans and crispy bacon. It’s the perfect dish for when you want something cozy and comforting without weighing you down.
What Kind of Beef to Use
Carne en su Jugó translates to “beef in its own juices” and it is a cross between a soup and a stew. I like to describe it as a brothy meat stew.
The base of the stew is finely chopped steak—we prefer top sirloin or strip steak, though you can also use top round steak.
The steak is browned in bacon drippings then simmered in a rich broth infused with tomatillos and cilantro. The harmony between bright, tart tomatillos and deeply savory beef broth is a true delight.
Ingredients in Carne en su Jugó
- Bacon: We recommend using thick-cut for the best texture and flavor. Bacon works double time in this recipe, first the drippings are used to cook the steak and the vegetables and second as a crispy, savory topping.
- Beef: Use top sirloin, strip steak or top round steak for this soup recipe. Trim off any visible fat before cooking.
- Tomatillos: We recommend using large tomatillos. If you can only find small tomatillos, use six instead of five.
- Aromatics: White or yellow onion will work but we prefer white since it’s a bit brighter and sharper in flavor. You’ll also need fresh garlic cloves.
- Chili Pepper: Serrano is great here but you can also use a jalapeño. The reason we usually opt for Serrano is because their heat is far more consistent than jalapeños. If you like heat, keep the ribs and seeds intact. If you prefer it more mild, remove the ribs and seeds prior to blending.
- Cilantro: This recipe uses an entire bunch of cilantro! Save some or get a second bunch for garnish. Use leftover cilantro in guacamole, salads, and in wraps or sandwiches.
- Coriander: Ground coriander is not traditional, but we like the floral cilantro note it adds.
- Broth: Since the base of this recipe is beef, we recommend using beef broth. Feel free to use beef bullion.
- Pinto Beans: To keep this weeknight-friendly we use canned beans. Feel free to cook dry pinto beans—a 30 minute job in a pressure cooker.
How to Make Carne en su Jugo
- Crisp up the bacon in a Dutch oven or large pot. Transfer the bacon to a plate and reserve the drippings in the pot—the bacon fat will create the base flavor of the broth.
- Add the beef to the drippings and gently cook it until it’s no longer pink.
- While the beef cooks, add the tomatillos, onion, garlic, serrano, cilantro, coriander and some of the broth to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the tomatillo sauce and the remaining broth to the pot with the beef. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the beef is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in the beans and half of the crispy bacon.
- Top each serving with the crispy bacon, cilantro, radish slices and avocado.
Serving Carne en su Jugó
Serve Carne en su Jugó for all kinds of occasions including cold Sunday night dinners, football watch parties, or simply low-key dinners at home. We find the more toppings the better when it comes to serving carne en su jugo. Top servings with chunks of avocado, fresh cilantro, bacon bits or lardons and crisp sliced radish.
Other topping ideas include sliced Serrano or jalapeño, crushed tortilla chips, fresh corn tortillas for dipping and crumbled Cotija.
You can get tomatillos at any Mexican market or at most major supermarkets now. Looks for them in the produce area either next to the onions and garlic or in the refrigerated produce section near the chiles.
Use 1 tablespoon beef bouillon and 4 cups of water.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low.
Some recipes use flank steak, but I recommend top sirloin, strip steak or top round steak. These three cuts are affordable, lean and become tender when thinly sliced.
Where is Carne en su Jugó from?
Carne en su Jugó is from Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco and was created at the restaurant Karne Garibaldi. Jalisco is well known for introducing some of the best well-known Mexican dishes and baked goods including tequila, Birria, Pozole, tamales and much more.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try
We also have a great go-to guacamole recipe that’s not traditional but is absolutely delicious.
Our Chicken Fajita Rice Bowls are perfect for busy weeknights. Prep the components ahead of time and have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Carne en su Jugo
- 8-12 ounces bacon, diced
- 2 pounds top sirloin (1 ½ pounds trimmed), strip steak or top round steak
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 5 large tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and quartered
- 1 bunch cilantro + more for serving
- ½ large white onion, quartered
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 serrano, stemmed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- Diced avocado, cilantro, corn tortillas, thinly sliced radishes and lime wedges for serving
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Reserve drippings in pot.
- Thinly slice beef (about ¼ inch thick) then cut into ½-inch pieces; season with kosher salt and pepper.
- Add beef to pot and cook over medium-low until no longer pink, 10 minutes.
- Add tomatillos, 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and tender stems), onion, garlic, serrano, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups broth to a blender.
- Blend until smooth on high, about 1 minute.
- Add tomatillo sauce and remaining 2 cups broth to pot.
- Bring to a simmer then cover and cook until beef is tender, 35–40 minutes.
- Stir in beans and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top each serving with bacon, avocado, cilantro, and radishes. Serve with corn tortillas and lime wedges