How to Make Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)
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Huge Vegetables, Mexican Seasonings and BEEF!
I love caldo de res (beef soup in Spanish) and first had it with my wife when we were dating many years ago. She introduced me to many new dishes that I have learned how to prepare because we love them so much. Caldo de res is definitely one of our favorites.
It is a beef soup seasoned with Mexican spices and contains large chunks of vegetables, some you know and some you might not know. It is served with fresh Mexican rice, hot corn tortillas, chopped fresh or pickled jalapeno, cilantro, onions, lime and salsa or chile. It is a beautiful dish to look at because of all of the colorful vegetables.
I think I like it so much because it tastes great of course but it also feels historical to me when I eat it. Let me explain, looking at this dish you just know that it has been prepared and served for many, many years. With its huge chunks of vegetables, cheap cuts of beef, Mexican seasonings and all of the sides I just get the feeling that this dish has sustained many generations of people. It is a soup that has real substance as you get everything one might need or want in one bowl. It is very filling and satisfying as well!
My wife and I enjoy soups of all kinds and caldo de res is one of our favorites. Let's get started on how I make this delicious soup!
Caldo de Res
- 2 lbs beef shank or stew meat
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbls cooking oil
- 1 can of tomatoes with green chilies
- 1/2 head cabbage, cut into wedges
- 2 large carrots, cut into large chunks
- 2 large potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 1 chayote, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 calabasa (Mexican squash), cut into large chunks
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 to 3 quarts water
- Chicken bouillon, to taste
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Begin by placing the cooking oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add in the beef shanks or stew meat. Season with salt and black pepper and brown meat on all sides. Add in the chopped onion and celelry. Stir around until vegetables soften a little, about 5 minutes or so. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes or so. Pour in the water and add can of tomatoes with green chilies, oregano, chili powder, cumin and chicken bouillon (use the instructions on package). Set heat to medium and cover pot. Allow beef to simmer in pot for 2 to 3 hours stirring and adding water as needed. Add in the vegetables and cook until they are tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.
To serve place some Mexican rice in a bowl and ladle in the soup making sure to include some of each vegetable per person. Alongside serve hot corn tortillas, chopped jalapeno peppers, chopped white onion, limes and your favorite bottled or homemade salsa or chile. Place some peppers and onions on top of each bowl, squeeze some lime over it and enjoy! Place meat in tortillas and spoon on some salsa or chile and eat with the soup.
I hope you will try this recipe with your family and friends! I am sure you will get many compliments. Remember to have fun when cooking and entertaining!