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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Carne en su Jugo

Carne en su Jugo

1¾ hours 45 minutes active

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Carne en su Jugo

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Carne en su jugo, or “meat in its own juices” translated from the Spanish, is from Jalisco state on the west coast of central Mexico. It’s a stewy, brothy meal in a bowl that, as its name suggests, derives its hearty, meaty flavor from beef simmering in the juices it releases as it cooks. Just a handful of other ingredients play supporting roles. The version of carne en su jugo shown to us by Paola Briseño-González includes tangy, vegetal tomatillos and takes the unusual step of pureeing a little of the sautéed meat with the aromatics to add body to the broth. Commonly used cuts for the dish are flank and skirt steak, but we prefer boneless short ribs, as they contain the right amount of flavor-enhancing fat and pack tons of meaty richness. The beef is cut into small pieces before cooking; freezing it for a few minutes firms it up so it’s easier to slice. For convenience, we used canned pinto beans instead of starting with dried beans, and we add them near the end of cooking so they spend some time in the broth turning tasty without becoming too soft. Carne en su jugo loves garnishes. In addition to the ones called for in the recipe, we like to spoon on some salsa macha. It’s a non-traditional pairing but an incredibly delicious one.

4 to 6

Servings

Tip

Don’t use a Dutch oven, as the surface area is too wide. A large pot with a smaller diameter is the better choice. We intentionally crowd the beef in the pot so the meat readily releases its juices and the juices remain in the pot rather than cook off.

1¾ hours

45 minutes active

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked
1 medium white onion, half roughly chopped, half finely chopped, reserved separately
4 cups low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 serrano chili, stemmed and thinly sliced, plus more to serve
2 15½-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve
Lime wedges, to serve
Warmed tortillas, to serve
Ingredients
  • pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed

  • 2

    tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1

    teaspoon soy sauce

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds tomatillos, husked

  • 1

    medium white onion, half roughly chopped, half finely chopped, reserved separately

  • 4

    cups low-sodium beef broth, divided

  • 1

    tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 3

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 1

    serrano chili, stemmed and thinly sliced, plus more to serve

  • 2

    15½-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve

  • Lime wedges, to serve

  • Warmed tortillas, to serve

Directions
  1. 01
    Place the beef on a plate and freeze, uncovered, until firm at the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer and slice ⅛ to ¼ inch thick against the grain. Now, cut the slices, stacking a few at a time, into small strips and bits (no need to be precise). In a medium bowl, toss the beef with the Worcestershire, soy sauce and ½ teaspoon pepper; set aside at room temperature.
  2. 02
    In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatillos and enough water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook until the tomatillos are softened, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos to a blender; discard the water. To the blender, add the roughly chopped onion and 1 cup of the broth.
  3. 03
    In a large pot over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the beef with its marinade and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat releases its juices and no longer is pink, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Measure 2 tablespoons of the meat and add to the blender, then blend on high until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. 04
    Add the puree to the pot along with the remaining 3 cups broth, the bay and chili. Bring to a boil over medium-high and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender but not completely soft, 35 to 45 minutes (the best way to test doneness is by tasting a piece of beef).
  5. 05
    Add the beans to the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fully softened and the broth is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the finely chopped onion, sliced chili and cilantro; serve with lime wedges and tortillas.
Tip: Don’t use a Dutch oven, as the surface area is too wide. A large pot with a smaller diameter is the better choice. We intentionally crowd the beef in the pot so the meat readily releases its juices and the juices remain in the pot rather than cook off.
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Carne en su Jugo

Get Ready to Cook

4 to 6

Servings

1¾ hours

45 minutes active

Tip

Don’t use a Dutch oven, as the surface area is too wide. A large pot with a smaller diameter is the better choice. We intentionally crowd the beef in the pot so the meat readily releases its juices and the juices remain in the pot rather than cook off.

Ingredients
  • pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed

  • 2

    tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1

    teaspoon soy sauce

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds tomatillos, husked

  • 1

    medium white onion, half roughly chopped, half finely chopped, reserved separately

  • 4

    cups low-sodium beef broth, divided

  • 1

    tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 3

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 1

    serrano chili, stemmed and thinly sliced, plus more to serve

  • 2

    15½-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve

  • Lime wedges, to serve

  • Warmed tortillas, to serve

Step 1 of 5

Prepare the Beef

pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed
2
tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1
teaspoon soy sauce
½
teaspoon pepper

Place the beef on a plate and freeze, uncovered, until firm at the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer and slice ⅛ to ¼ inch thick against the grain. Now, cut the slices, stacking a few at a time, into small strips and bits (no need to be precise).


In a medium bowl, toss the beef with the Worcestershire, soy sauce and ½ teaspoon pepper; set aside at room temperature.

Step 2 of 5

Cook the Tomatillos

pounds tomatillos, husked
1
cups low-sodium beef broth

In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatillos and enough water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook until the tomatillos are softened, about 5 minutes.


Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos to a blender; discard the water. To the blender, add the roughly chopped onion and 1 cup of the broth.

Step 3 of 5

Cook the Beef

1
tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
3
medium garlic cloves, minced

In a large pot over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute.


Add the beef with its marinade and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat releases its juices and no longer is pink, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.


Measure 2 tablespoons of the meat and add to the blender, then blend on high until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

Step 4 of 5

Continue to Cook

3
cups low-sodium beef broth
2
bay leaves
1
serrano chili, stemmed and thinly sliced, plus more to serve

Add the puree to the pot along with the remaining 3 cups broth, the bay and chili. Bring to a boil over medium-high and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender but not completely soft, 35 to 45 minutes (the best way to test doneness is by tasting a piece of beef).

Step 5 of 5

Serve

2
15½-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1
medium white onion, half roughly chopped, half finely chopped, reserved separately
1
serrano chili, stemmed and thinly sliced, plus more to serve
Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve
Lime wedges, to serve
Warmed tortillas, to serve

Add the beans to the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fully softened and the broth is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.


Remove and discard the bay, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the finely chopped onion, sliced chili and cilantro; serve with lime wedges and tortillas.

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