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Carne en Su Jugo means ‘Meat in its Juices’ and is a Mexican stew originally from Piedra Amarilla, in Jalisco. It’s kinda similar to Carne Guisada if you’re familiar with that, but the flavors are much simpler and straightforward. I discussed this soup on Twitter with my friend Inca after she posted a TikTok and knew I had to make it again. I can’t remember the last time I did!
Fun fact: My mom is Black and my dad is Nahua (Indigenous Mexican, to make it plain). I was raised solely by my mom’s side and never knew my father or his. I was the only mixed kid in my family, so when I grew up of course I went on a journey of self-discovery to learn about and try to connect with “my other half.” You know, just the typical non-white biracial nonsense.
It was… it wasn’t really successful. 😅 I learned much about Mexico, Mesoamerica, and the history of the continent and even picked up a few words in Nahuatl (talk about a difficult language to learn!) but I didn’t feel any more connected to whatever missing piece I thought I needed to find after my efforts than I did before (because y’know, I was already whole). My main takeaway from that time? Food!!
I practiced cooking a lot of dishes from different regions of Mexico (I started with Sinaloa because that’s where my father is from but there was too much seafood) during this time, trying to make them as authentically as I could and testing them out on my friends and family. Very few on myself: y’all know I’m too picky and my tastebuds can’t be trusted.
Anyway, Carne en Su Jugo is one of the foods I discovered during that time and I’m very glad I did. If this is your first experience with it I am glad to be your introduction. My method is pretty traditional, save for my use of beef bacon. If you’re an OG around these parts tho that should come as no surprise.
Carne en Su Jugo Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Carne en Su Jugo recipe:
- Flank steak: My favorite cut for this one. Other cuts like skirt steak or top round will work if you have an issue finding flank steak.
- Bacon: Traditionally you’d use regular pork bacon, but I use beef bacon. It’s the love of my life if you didn’t know. We cook it until crisp, first, and then add some of it back to cook in the stew. We save the rest for topping.
- Tomatillos, white onion, garlic: It’s not Carne en Su Jugo without tomatillos and white onion. You can blend them raw, boil them for 10 minutes, or roast them, I like I do in the recipe. These, along with the cilantro will be blended until smooth before added to the pot. We’ll reserve some onion and dice it small for topping each bowl, too.
- Pinto beans: I always make a batch of Frijoles de la Olla to go with this. I’ll post my recipe soon, but in the meantime use your favorite Mexican pinto bean recipe or find one online. I like to stir them into the soup towards the end, but you can also ladle a serving into each bowl before adding the stew if not everyone likes them.
- Serrano peppers, jalapeno pepper: I use a few serrano peppers and jalapeno because my family likes things hot. If you want it mild, just use one serrano pepper and omit the jalapeno.
- Cilantro: Traditional and as necessary as the tomatillos, the meat, and the bacon! Actually, I believe fresh coriander, is what’s called for, but I’ve never been able to find that near me. If you can, have at it!
- Beef broth, water: You can use all beef broth, substitute chicken broth, or use all water and up the seasonings (if you want). It’s really up to you. Just make sure you have enough to cover the soup contents after you’ve added everything else.
- Soy sauce: Adds a lil’ something that I think you’ll miss if you omit it.
- Ground cumin, Mexican oregano, garlic powder, bay leaf: I season both the uncooked steak and the soup itself with these. You can just salt the steak and add the rest to the soup after you’ve added the water if you want. Add the leaf to the soup, of course.
- Kosher salt: For flavor, of course! Salt the steak, the veggies before you roast them, the soup, all of it! To your liking, of course.
- Equipment: You’ll need a blender to make this recipe, or a very strong food processor. Here’s everything I use to prepare this recipe in my own home.
How to Make Carne en Su Jugo
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Carne en Su Jugo recipe:
- Roast the vegetables. Preheat your oven to 450°F and place the tomatillos (husks removed and washed), chopped onion, garlic cloves, and peppers in a roasting dish. Season lightly with kosher salt and roast until browned, about half an hour or so.
- Prep the steak and beans. Season the flank steak with the desired amount of salt, half of the listed spices, and all of the soy sauce. Stir well to make sure each piece gets seasoned.
- Fry the bacon. Fry your bacon over high heat until it’s nice and crispy and has given off all of the greases. We’ll use it to sear the steak, or you can discard it and use oil if you want. Remove the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Sear the steak. Add the steak to the pan and let it sear for 1-2 minutes before tossing. You can crowd the pan a bit here if you want, but don’t go crazy. It doesn’t need to have a steak sear, but we want it to get some color.
- Blend stuff. Add all of the contents from the roasting pan to your blender along with the cilantro (save a few sprigs for topping), the two cups of beef broth, and about half a cup of the seared steak. Blend it on high until completely smooth.
- Simmer the soup. Pour the blended ingredients and the water into the pan, then stir in the bacon, saving some of it for topping, the bay leaf, and the remaining seasoning. Taste and adjust for salt, if needed. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the soup until the meat is tender and falling apart, about 20 minutes or so. Remove the bay leaf and add the bean, if you’re going to stir them in.
- Top and serve. If you didn’t choose to add the pinto beans directly to the soup, then ladle a healthy serving into each bowl, then top that with a few spoonfuls of Carne en Su Jugo. Sprinkle on some crispy bacon, diced onion, and minced cilantro. Dassit!
What To Serve With Carne en Su Jugo
I did some googling and Wikipedia said that this stew is usually served alongside refried beans, guacamole, corn tortillas, and chips. Our family serves it with flour tortillas because that’s what we like. This recipe makes a large batch of stew so we ate it two days in a row this last time; I made cheese quesadillas to go with it the second day and that went over extremely well with everybody.
Let me know what you think if you make this recipe! Here are the obligatory Pinterest graphics for your board:
Carne en su Jugo
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 12 1x
“Meat in its Juices” is the literal translation.
- 3 lbs flank steak, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb (one pack) bacon, diced
- 1 lb tomatillos, husks removed
- 3 C pinto beans, cooked
- 2 C beef broth
- 2 C water
- 1 large white onion, chopped roughly
- 1 jalapeno pepper, halved
- 3 serrano peppers
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 C cilantro
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp kosher salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp ground cumin, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 450°F and place the tomatillos, chopped onion, garlic, and peppers in a roasting dish. Sprinkle over a pinch of kosher salt and roast in the oven until the onions are browned and the skin on the peppers and tomatillos are shriveling. Should be about 1/2 an hour.
- Season the flank steak with your desired amount of salt, half of the other listed spices, and all of the soy sauce. Stir well to make sure each piece gets seasoned, then set aside at room temperature.
- Place a large saute pan with high sides over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and fry until it’s crispy. Transfer the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate. If you don’t want to use the bacon grease go ahead and discard it now and add a small drizzle of oil.
- Add the steak to the pan – this is one of the rare occasions I’ll tell you it’s OK to crowd the pan just a bit – and let it sear for 1-2 minutes before tossing around. We’re not cooking anything, just trying to give it some color.
- Pull the veggies from the oven and transfer everything to your blender. Add the cilantro (save a few sprigs for topping), the beef broth, and about half a cup of the seared steak. Blend everything on high until completely smooth. Be careful! Make sure the blender lid is closed but vented, or whatever your manufacturer’s instructions say about blending hot liquids!
- Add the water to the pot, along with everything from the blender. Stir in about 2/3 of the cooked bacon along with the bay leaf, and the remaining seasoning. Taste and adjust for salt, if needed. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Simmer the soup until the meat is tender and falling apart, about 20 minutes or so. Remove the bay leaf and add the beans, if you’re going to stir them in. You’re done! Check the post above the recipe for serving suggestions. Dassit!
Read the post above the recipe to make sure you’re successful when you make this.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 45