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. 

diced beef, diced bacon, cilantro, tomatillos, beans, onion, serrano, and garlic measured out on a counter

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.
beef and bean stew in a multi-colored bowl topped with avocado, cilantro, radish and bacon bits

How to Make Carne en su Jugo

  1. 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.
  2. Add the beef to the drippings and gently cook it until it’s no longer pink.
  3. While the beef cooks, add the tomatillos, onion, garlic, serrano, cilantro, coriander and some of the broth to a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. 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. 
  5. Stir in the beans and half of the crispy bacon. 
  6. 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.

beef and bean stew in a multi-colored bowl topped with avocado, cilantro, radish and bacon bits

FAQs

Where do I find tomatillos?

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.

If I have beef bullion, how much should I use?

Use 1 tablespoon beef bouillon and 4 cups of water.

If I have beef bullion, how much should I use?

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low.

What cut of meat should be used?

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

If you’re looking for more Mexican-inspired soups, we’ve got ’em! Check out our Sopa de Fideo, Mexican Chicken Soup and Albondigas Soup.

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.

Make a homemade adobo sauce for tender, juicy Chicken Barbacoa.

Carne en su Jugo

4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 5 (9 cups)
Category Main Course
Cuisine Mexican

Description

A savory brothy beef stew infused with a blend of tomatillos, cilantro and spicy serrano. Cozy, comforting and surprisingly light.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
    diced bacon cooked in a Dutch oven
  • 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.
    diced beef cooking in a Dutch oven
  • Add tomatillos, 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and tender stems), onion, garlic, serrano, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups broth to a blender.
    tomatillos, onion, cilantro and spices in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth on high, about 1 minute.
    green sauce in a blender
  • Add tomatillo sauce and remaining 2 cups broth to pot.
    green sauce in a Dutch oven
  • Bring to a simmer then cover and cook until beef is tender, 35–40 minutes.
    beef in a yellow-green sauce
  • Stir in beans and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper to taste.
    beans and beef in a yellow-green sauce
  • Top each serving with bacon, avocado, cilantro, and radishes. Serve with corn tortillas and lime wedges

Notes

Use as much bacon as you prefer—I opt for 12 ounces, but 8 ounces will also work.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
Reheat leftovers on the stove top until simmering.
Looking for a side? This Healthy Skillet Cornbread would be delicious! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ¾ cupsCalories: 530kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 50gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 1435mgFiber: 6gSugar: 2g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestful-kitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
beef and bean stew in a multi-colored bowl topped with avocado, cilantro, radish and bacon bits

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Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I started looking for a recipe to make this after eating this soup at a local Mexican restaurant. I’ve made this twice. It was delicious both times. I think as good as the restaurant! The serrano pepper makes it pretty spicy, so be warned – not flaming hot, but it does have a bite. Don’t leave out any of the toppings. They are what makes it so flavorful and interesting.