Fresh From Nancy's Garden

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Rancho Gordo’s Carne En Su Jugo

Carne en su jugo is Spanish for “beef with it’s juices”–but one spoonful and you’ll say it means, “This is so delicious I can’t stop eating it!” 

I got a wonderful sampler of Rancho Gordo beans for Christmas and couldn’t wait to start cooking. I went to the Rancho Gordo website and saw so many great recipes it was hard to decide which to make first, but I decided to start with carne en su jugo.

It’s a very simple recipe, but a little time consuming because you need to cook the beans low and slow. I cooked the beans and then reheated them the next day to finish the dish. 

  • 16 oz. Rancho Gordo beans–I used ayocote morado (rinsed)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped small
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped small
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped small
  • 1-2 TBS olive oil–if needed
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 1/2 jalapeno (optional)
  • 10 + cups water


  • 1/2 lb. bacon finely chopped–for topping
  • 1 1/2 lb. sirloin tip or top round, sliced thinly, then chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth, divided
  • 2-3 chiles in adobo (3 if you like it spicy)
  • salt and pepper to taste–I used no additional salt
  • 2 cups of the cooked beans
  • chopped cilantro
Finely chop the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and jalapeno. 

In a heavy pot brown the bacon until almost crispy. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and jalapeno. Cook over medium heat until all are soft. Add the olive oil if needed.

Add the beans–I didn’t soak them first. 

Add enough water to cover the beans by at least an inch of water. I started with 10 cups. Bring to a fast boil for 5 minutes then reduce to a gentle simmer. When the beans are soft you can add salt, but taste first. I cooked mine for about 4 hours (and checked them every 30 minutes or so) and continued to add water, then I refrigerated them overnight in the same pot. I reheated them the next day and added a little more water.

The time-consuming part is now done. It’s simple from here.


 In a large frying pan, slowly fry the bacon until it’s crisp.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Add the beef to the bacon drippings and sauté until browned, about 2-4 minutes.

Transfer the beef to a heavy bottomed pot.

Place 1 cup of the beef broth in a blender and 2-3 chipotles in adobo and blend well. (Warning: don’t try to use your tiny food processor or there will be a big mess–trust me on this. They said use a blender for a reason).

Add the blender mixture to the pot with the meat and then add the other 3 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

To assemble: Put a large spoonful of warm beans in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Ladle the meat/broth mixture over the beans. Sprinkle with bacon and cilantro.  

Reach for a spoon…

…and enjoy every bite! Jake did! 

And here’s an added benefit–I froze some for Jake to take back to New York today and it passed through the TSA check without a hitch. I’m missing him already, but I know he’ll have a home-cooked dinner from mom tonight.

Categories: Soups & Salads, Stews

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