Carne en su Jugo (Meat in its Juice)

January 11, 2016

Despite enjoying and eating Mexican food for many years, I only discovered this superb dish about two years ago. It was served at a restaurant called El Olvido, which has since gone to that great chili patch in the sky. Since I'd never seen it anywhere else, I figured if I ever wanted to enjoy it again, I'd have to find a recipe, which is reproduced here. There's a bit of prep time at the beginning, but it's very simple, and I guarantee you will enjoy the intermingling flavors of the tomatillos, lime, and cilantro. Enjoy.

* 4 fresh tomatillos, husks removed
  * 3 serrano chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  * 1 clove garlic, or more to taste, peeled
  * 3 cups water
  * 6 slices bacon
  * 2 pounds flank steak, cut into 1/2-inch squares
  * 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  * 2 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans
  * onion, chopped
  * 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  * ground black pepper, to taste
  * 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges


  1. Combine the tomatillos, serrano peppers, garlic, and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer the contents to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large, deep 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. You can cut the bacon into strips before frying or fry the slices whole, then crumble it afterward. Set bacon aside.
  3. In the same pan, over medium-high heat; cook the flank steak until completely browned. Pour the tomatillo mixture over the beef and bring to a boil. Stir the chicken bouillon into the mixture, and reduce heat. Cover the pan and simmer until tender, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  4. Complete the dish by stirring the bacon and pinto beans into the flank-steak mixture; bring to a boil, and serve in bowls, garnishing each bowl with onion, cilantro, black pepper, and a lime wedge.

Note: The onion, cilantro and lime really make this dish. Without it it won't be the same, and you may be disappointed. If you're tempted to leave any one of these ingredients out, I suggest you pass on making this dish completely.