This dish is a specialty of Guadalajara, Jalisco. When you think of it, it has the least imaginative name on the planet, but the dish itself is heavenly. Tender meat strips, simmered in brothy salsa are served alongside whole beans in their broth, makes the combination a delicious kind of soup. As in many Mexican soups, garnishes take this dish over the top.
In Guadalajara, Jalisco, back in the year 1965, there was a hot dog vendor named Juan José Galvez Ceballo, whose nickname was “el Gallo”. He was the one who invented this dish and started selling it to party-goers late at night. Soon, everyone forgot about his hot dogs and the beef in its juices became very much sought after. Nowadays, it is an iconic part of the gastronomy of Jalisco, and a trip to Guadalajara is not complete unless you try carne en su jugo in a restaurant or two.
The origins of this dish are very humble, simply a mix of meat and beans with their broth, garnished with bacon, onions, and cilantro. Humble or not, this dish has evolved, and different cooks make it in slightly different ways, but the end result is always delicious.
I like to make mine with a rich beef broth to enhance the flavor of the meat, as well as a salsa made with tomatillos and tomatoes that add a touch of acidity. This balances and enhances the flavors of the meat and the beans and the end result is a perfect marriage of beans, meat, and broth.
Typical garnishes are chopped onion and cilantro, favorites of all Mexicans, as well as avocado slices, grilled or pan-fried spring onions, and tortillas. If you can, serve this dish in a clay bowl. Just like in Jalisco.