Mexico The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking

Carne de Res con Tomatillos | Beef with Green Tomatoes Saltillo Style

Of all the beef dishes in Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz’s The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking (1967), this is the one that really reached out and grabbed me. I think the brightness from the salsa verde trifecta of tomatillos, coriander and serrano chiles paired with the rich chorizo sausage just promised a lot of flavour. And boy did it deliver.

Ortiz lists this recipe as Saltillo style, which is the capital of the northern state of Coahuila, bordering on Texas. Green tomatillos must be especially prevalent in the northern states, as her “Guacamole del Norte” (Northern Style Guacamole) also distinguishes itself through the use of tomatillos. At my butcher’s behest, I swapped chuck for the round steak listed in the recipe to add a bit more fat and tenderness to the dish and the result was very good indeed. I leave it up to you to decide.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 lbs chuck or round steak
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Mexican chorizo, de-cased and chopped
1 10oz can green tomatillos
2-3 canned serrano chiles
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
12 small new potatoes, cooked and peeled


  1. Brown beef in oil then transfer to a large pot.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in remaining oil. Add sausage and cook until done.
  3. Add onion, garlic, sausage along with the can of tomatillos (with liquid), serrano, and coriander to beef. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer for 2 hours and then add potatoes.