Carne En Su Jugo (beef cooked in its own juice)

Carne en su Jugo is a Mexican stew that is flavorsome and hearty with all the goodness of beef. Because the meat is cooked in its own juices, the dish has a depth and comfort flavor like nothing else.

Mexican carne en su jugo served with various toppings.

Mexican cuisine is rich in flavors, and this dish is the perfect example. Traditionally served with de la olla beans, onions, and corn tortillas, this dish is a complete meal for any weekday.

What is carne en su jugo?

Carne en su jugo is a delicious Mexican dish that has its roots and is deeply embedded in Guadalajara (the capital of the state of Jalisco). The dish name is a Spanish term that means “meat in its own juice”, referring to the method the beef is cooked.

Although the dish isn’t very old, yet it is quite popular and has a special place in Mexican cuisine. Read more about Jalisco’s authentic cuisine here.

The dish “carne en su jugo” is said to have originated somewhere between the 1950s and 1960s. Its exact story of origin is a bit conflicted. Some believe that the recipe came into being when women throw all the ingredients in the pot to feed their larger families and friends.

Carne en su jugo closeup.

However, others relate its origin to the prevailing Hangover problem. Because the people of this region loved drinking, the dish was created as a cure for the symptoms the day after (hangover).

Well, whatever the reason is, we are just happy that someone invented this dish. It is rich, comforting, and heartwarming.

What beef cut to use

You can use top-round sirloin or flank steak to make this recipe. Just make sure to ask your butcher to cut it as finely as possible so the meat will cook quickly and stay tender and juicy.

The Step By Step Recipe

Cut the meat into strips first then into small bites. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Cut also the bacon into strips.

Beef and bacon cut into small bites for carne en su jugo,

Make the sauce: Add tomatillo sauce (or poached tomatillos), onion, garlic, cilantro, serrano chilies, and cumin. Pour one cup of beef stock or water and blend until smooth.

Salsa verde on a blender.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on a braising pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, until crisp. 

Fried bacon on a cooking spoon. Seen from above.

Remove bacon from the pan and set aside. Heat more oil on the pan and add the beef meat. Sear until the meat is no longer pink but there are still juices on the pan.

Beef cooked on a pan with juices released on the bottom.

Pour in the sauce, return the bacon to the pot and also add the remaining beef stock or water. Bring to a boil, turn low the heat, and allow to simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender.

A collage with two photos of the cooking process of carne en su jugo.

Adjust with seasonings adding more salt and spices to your liking. Turn off the heat and serve immediately as suggested below or store for later.

Serve

  • Distribute the beans onto 6 deep plates or bowls. Ladle the meat stew over, making sure you add a lot of sauce.
  • Garnish carne en su jugo with onions, cilantro, radishes, and a squeeze of lime. Serve with warm corn tortillas.
Carne en su jugo served with chopped onions, cilantro and radishes, and a lime wedge.

More toppings and serving ideas

The stew of carne en su jugo is hearty on its own, but to make it more comforting, in Mexico is traditionally served with a variety of toppings and accompaniments. Here are a few you should try:

  • Crispy bacon: Crispy bacon pieces add so much flavor to the stew. If you want to add also a crunchy touch, save some for garnish.
  • Cilantro: You can top it up with freshly chopped cilantro from freshness.
  • White onion: Chopped white onions are also perfect for bringing in a crunch to the stew.
  • Radishes: Raddish slices not just bring in a crunch but also have a unique spicy and sweet flavor.
  • Avocado slices: You can also use avocado slices as a healthy option. The smooth texture goes well with the broth.
  • Lime wedges: A slight tanginess and freshness from lime’s juice complement the broth nicely.
  • Dried Arbol chiles: If you want something hot and spicy, dried Arbol chiles are a perfect option. Add them either grounded or as a salsa, this chili oil salsa is a nice addition!
  • Fresh green chilies: Chop some jalapeño or serrano peppers and add them along with onions and cilantro.
  • Cooked beans: Also know as frijoles de la olla. In many recipes they’re added to the stew when it’s still cooking so they will infuse with the stew flavor.
  • Tortillas: Without doubt, this recipe is perfect to serve with homemade corn tortillas. And, if you haven’t tried blue corn tortillas before, this is the right time to do so!
Blue corn tortillas banner.

You can make it ahead of time

If you want to serve Carne en Su Jugo to a large crowd or at a family dinner, you can prepare this stew ahead of time. It will not only be convenient for you but will allow the dish to soak up more flavors.

So, my recommendation is to prepare the stew ahead of time and leave the assembly to the last minute.

Mexican beef cooked on its own juices.

How to store It

Have some carne en su jugo leftovers? No problem at all. You can save the stew for the next day as well. Pour it into an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will last up to 5 days. However, make sure you also store the beans and toppings separately.

Furthermore, you can also freeze the stew for up to 3 months. You can add the beans before freezing too. Just leave out garnishes.

More Mexican Beef Recipes

  • Gallina Pinta. Oxtail beef stew with hominy and beans.
  • Chile Rojo. The most popular Mexican recipe of beef simmered in a chili sauce.
  • Birria. Traditional recipe with step by step instructions and video!
Carne en su jugo recipe.

Carne en su jugo

author Maricruz
Carne en su Jugo is a Mexican stew that is flavorsome and hearty with all the goodness of beef. Because the meat is cooked in its juice, the dish has a depth of flavor like nothing else.
prep 10 minutes
cook 40 minutes
total 50 minutes
serving 6

Ingredients 

for the stew

  • 2 lb top round beef sirloin (finely sliced)
  • 7 oz bacon (finely sliced)
  • 4 ½ cups beef stock
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper

for the tomatillo sauce

  • 7 oz green tomatillos (or a small can of poached tomatillos)
  • ½ small onion
  • small bunch of cilantro (stems included)
  • 2 serrano chilies (or 1 jalapeño)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tsp ground cumin

for serving

  • 2 cups frijoles de la olla (cooked pinto beans)
  • 1 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 cup onions (choppes)
  • cup radishes (cut into slices, or chopped)
  • lime wedges
  • corn tortillas

Instructions
 

make the sauce

  • Add tomatillo sauce (or poached tomatillos), onion, garlic, cilantro, serrano chilies and cumin.
  • Pour one cup of beef stock or water and blend until smooth.

make the stew

  • Cut the meat into strips first then into small bites. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Cut also the bacon into strips.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on a braising pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, until crisp.
  • Remove bacon from the pan and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil on the pan and add the beef meat. Sear until the meat is not longer pink but there’s still juices on the pan.
  • Pour in the tomatillo sauce. Return the bacon to the pan and pour in the remaining beef stock.
  • Bring to a boil, turn low the heat and allow to simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender.
  • Adjust with seasonings adding more salt and spices to your liking. Turn off the heat.

serve

  • Distribute the beans onto 6 deep plates or bowls. Ladle the meat stew over, making sure you add a lot of sauce.
  • Garnish with onions, cilantro, radishes, and a squeeze of lime. Serve with warm corn tortillas.

Notes

Nutrition info doesn’t include tortillas for serving the dish.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 500mg | Potassium: 1273mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 248IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 5mg
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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    How easy is this recipe! I’ve hear of carne en su jugo before and even tasted at a Mexican gathering I attended some years ago, but I didn’t know it was this easy to make at home. Thank you so much for the recipe :)