Beef Caldo Recipe | How to Make CALDO DE RES | Mexican Beef Soup Recipe
How to Make Caldo de Res
Caldo de resis a traditional Mexican beef stew. Bone-in portions of beef and large chunks of vegetables are simmered together in a simple broth until they become tender and flavorful.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 lbs (900 g) bone-in beef shank or bone-in beef short ribs
1 Tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
1 Tbsp (15 ml) salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) ground black pepper
1 medium onion
2 large tomatoes
3 cups (750 ml) beef broth, divided
4 cups (1 L) water, as needed
2 medium carrots
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh cilantro
3 ears of corn
2 russet potatoes
2 chayote or zucchini
1 medium head of cabbage
1/4 cup (60 ml) sliced jalapeños
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped onion
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges
6 to 12 corn tortillas
Preparing the Ingredients
Cut the beef.Use a sharp knife to cut the beef into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) pieces. Leave some of the beef on the bones.
- Beef shank and beef short ribs are both good options, but you can use nearly any bone-in cut of meat.
- You need to use the bones in the soup, even if you completely remove the beef from the bones while cutting it. The bone marrow helps flavor the broth.
Wash the vegetables.Rinse the vegetables under running water, then dry them off with clean paper towels.
- Scrub vegetables with rough skins (carrots, potatoes) using a stiff vegetable brush to remove the dirt. You could peel the skins, if desired, but doing so is unconventional forcaldo de res.
- Husk the corn and rinse the exposed ears under cool water to help remove the silky strings left behind.
Cut the vegetables.Chop or slice the vegetables into relatively large chunks using a sharp kitchen knife.
- Roughly chop the onion, tomatoes, and cilantro.
- Quarter each ear of corn and each potato.
- Slice the carrots and chayote into equally sized portions, roughly 1/2 to 1 inch (1.25 to 2.5 cm) thick. If you opt to use zucchini instead of chayote, make the piece slightly larger since zucchini is softer and cooks faster.
- Cut the head of cabbage in half, then cut each half into three equal portions. You can remove the core, but it's more common to leave the stem intact.
Puree the tomatoes with broth.Combine the chopped tomatoes with 1/2 cup (125 ml) of beef broth in a blender. Process the two ingredients until a thick, chunky puree forms.
- You could also use a food processor instead of a blender.
- Don't worry about creating a smooth puree. The tomatoes will continue breaking down as they cook in the soup.
- If you would prefer soup with larger chunks of tomato, skip this step and add the chopped tomatoes at the usual stage without pureeing them.
Making the Base
Heat the oil.Pour the oil into a large, heavy stockpot. Set the stockpot on the stove over medium-high heat.
- After 1 or 2 minutes, the oil and the pot should become very hot. Carefully tilt and rotate the stockpot so that the hot oil coats the entire bottom.
Brown the beef with salt and pepper.Add the beef and beef bones to the stockpot. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then cook, stirring frequently, until the beef browns on all sides.
Add the onion.Sprinkle the chopped onions over the meat in the stockpot. Continue cooking and stirring until the onion lightly browns, as well.
Pour in the broth and tomatoes.Add the tomatoes and remaining 2-1/2 cups (625 ml) of beef broth to the stockpot. Stir the ingredients together until evenly combined.
- At this point, the liquid in the stockpot should be high enough to cover the solid ingredients (including the bones) by 1/2 inch (1.25 cm). If the liquid does not reach that high, add enough lukewarm water to satisfy that condition.
Bring to a boil.Wait for the soup to reach a full, rolling boil over medium-high heat. Keep the stockpot uncovered and occasionally stir the ingredients while waiting.
Skim the foam.If any foam rises to the surface of the soup, use a ladle or slotted spoon to skim it off. Discard the foam and rinse the spoon.
Simmer for 1 hour.Reduce the heat to medium-low and loosely cover the stockpot. Cook the soup for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
- During this time, the liquid should continue to simmer and bubble, but it shouldnotreach a full boil. Keep the lid slightly ajar to prevent pressure from building up.
- Stirring is not necessary during this stretch of time, but if you large amounts of additional foam rising to the surface, periodically skim them off using a ladle or slotted spoon.
- Check the meat after the first 60 minutes. The beef should be tender enough to cut with the side of a spoon or fork when ready. If it isn't, continue cooking for up to 30 minutes more, checking again at 10-minute intervals.
Adding the Remaining Ingredients
Add the carrot and cilantro.Toss the carrot and chopped cilantro into the soup; stir well to combine. Continue cooking the soup, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Maintain the conditions of the liquid after adding the carrot and cilantro. Skim off any foam that developed. If the level of liquid drops beneath the solid ingredients, add enough water to keep the vegetables, meat, and bones covered.
Add the potatoes and corn.Place the potatoes and corn cobs in the soup and stir to combine. Cook for another 15 minutes, keeping the liquid at a steady simmer and leaving the lid off the stockpot.
- Continue adding more water, as needed, to maintain the proper level of liquid. Skim off any foam that develops.
Stir in the chayote.Add the chopped chayote to the soup and stir it into the other ingredients. Continue cooking the soup at a steady simmer for another 10 minutes.
- If you use zucchini instead of chayote, drop the amount of cook time to 5 minutes. Zucchini cooks faster than chayote, and it can become soggy if cooked too long.
Push in the cabbage.Evenly distribute the wedges of cabbage around the surface of the soup. Use the back of the ladle to push the wedges beneath the surface, then continue cooking the soup for another 10 minutes.
- This is the last time you'll need to check the level of liquid in the soup. Add more water, if necessary, and skim off any developing foam.
Make any necessary adjustments.Test the taste of the broth and the tenderness of the vegetables. Make any necessary adjustments to improve both qualities to your liking.
- If the broth seems too bland, you can add more salt, pepper, and cilantro.
- All of the vegetables should feel tender when pierced with a fork. If they aren't tender, continue cooking the soup until they are, checking every 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the bones.Once the soup is ready, remove it from the heat and fish out any bones.
- Most of the meat should have fallen off the bones while cooking. If any beef is still attached to the bones, however, remove the entire piece, separate the two elements, and return the beef to the stockpot while discarding the bone.
Serve hot with desired garnishes.Ladle the hot soup into individual serving bowls, making sure that each portion contains all of the various ingredients. Allow each guest to garnish his or her portion as desired.
- Traditionally, you should squeeze fresh lime juice over thecaldo de resand serve the soup with warm corn tortillas. The chopped onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced jalapeños can be added according to taste.
Video: How to make Caldo de Res (English edition)
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