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.
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What is Carne en su Jugó
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 (I prefer top sirloin or strip) cooked in bacon drippings. It’s then simmered in a deeply beefy broth infused with blended tomatillos and cilantro. The harmony between bright, tart tomatillos and deeply savory beef broth is a true delight.
Creamy pinto beans are added to the stew before being serving to ensure they hold their shape. Each serving gets a variety of toppings including crispy bason, pepper radishes, cilantro, avocado, and lime juice.
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.
Why This Recipe Works
For starters, it’s a one pot meal that comes together surprisingly quickly for how flavorful it is. It also seamlessly threads the needle of being cozy and comforting and wonderfully light at the same time.
Plus, the savory flavors of beef and bacon are perfectly balanced with a blend of fresh tomatillos, onions, cilantro and serrano. Most traditional recipes use beef bouillon for depth of flavor, and you certainly can, though I like the ease of prepared beef broth.
And finally, when it comes to toppings, fresh slices of crisp radish are a must. Their peppery bite and crunch are a welcome contrast to the hot soup.
Ingredients in Carne en su Jugó
- Bacon, I recommend using thick-cut for the best texture and flavor.
- Top sirloin, strip steak or top round steak with all work for this soup. Trim off any visible fat before cooking.
- Tomatillos, I recommend using large tomatillos. If you can only find small tomatillos, use six.
- White onion, yellow will also work but white is best as it’s a bit brighter and sharper in flavor.
- Serrano, you can also use a jalapeno, but serranos are far more consistent in heat than jalapenos. If you like heat, keep the ribs and seeds intact. If you don’t like things spicy, remove the ribs and seeds prior to blending.
- Cilantro, you’ll need an entire bunch for the soup plus a little extra for serving.
- Ground coriander is not traditional, but I like the floral cilantro note it adds.
- Beef broth, or feel free to use beef bullion.
- Pinto beans, to keep this weeknight-friendly I like to use canned beans. Feel free to cook dry pinto beans—a 30 minute job in a pressure cooker.
- Radishes are ideal for serving. Slice them thin and sprinkle over top of each bowl.
- Avocado is also a delicious addition to each serving.
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.
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.
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