No offense to chicken noodle soup. It’s good and all, but it has nothing on this hearty and filling Mexican food classic. When I get sick, I want a bowl of Caldo de Res. It screams love, warmth, and goodness. My mom made the best caldo, of course. If you’re under the weather, I invite you to try this recipe. Think of this as “Mexican penicillin” (without those pesky problems of importing medications into the U.S.). Guaranteed to make you feel better in an instant.
You start with the beef shank (and take it to the bank).. If I only buy two beef shanks, there’s war at our house – “Shank Wars – The Kitchen Empire Strikes Back.” My son’s favorite part of Caldo de Res is the bone marrow, and ours too. Since he’s our baby, he always gets the rich and creamy marrow. Three beef shanks create a peaceful home. Make Caldo de Res, not war.
If you’ve never had bone marrow, you’re missing out. Let me repeat that: YOU’RE MISSING OUT! It’s one of those “weird” foods that people north of the border are afraid to try and until they see it at some high end restaurant selling for $100 a plate because Chef So and So put it on the menu. Or, you can make this caldo and pay pennies for it. Your choice. 🙂
Cook the beef in a big pot of soup first to make a delicious broth for your Caldo de Res. While that cooks, it’s time to get chop, chop, chopping!
Chayote, or Mexican squash. The best way to describe a chayote: it has the texture of an apple when you’re cutting into it, has the consistency of an apple when it’s cooked, but it’s not as sweet as an apple. Mild in taste, kinda like a regular zucchini. It goes perfectly in the Caldo de Res because it soaks up all the meaty and yummy flavors from all the other ingredients in the soup. Learn how to chop a Chayote: CLICK HERE
Once you’re done with all the chopping, put everything in the pot. Don’t you just love all the colors? Let this pot sit for an hour on the stove. The smells of magic food cooking the kitchen… LOVE THAT!
Squeeze a little lime on top of a big bowl of Caldo de Res, and… Mmmmmm! There’s something so comforting, so hearty, and so amazing about this soup. You’ll be throwing away the tissue box before you know it. Hope you enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 beef shanks
- ½ onion, diced
- 8-10 cups of water
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced (divided)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 jalapeño, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 chayote, diced
- 2 Mexican zucchini, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- ¼ cabbage, sliced 3-inch pieces
- 2 corn on the cob, 3-inches each
- Salt and pepper
- Cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Remove the meat from each of the beef shanks.
- Chop meat into 1-inch pieces.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.
- Add the beef to the pot.
- Brown on all sides.
- Add onion.
- Stir for one minute, or until translucent.
- Add 8 cups of water, more salt and pepper, 1 garlic clove.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until beef is tender.
- Add remaining garlic, lime juice, jalapeño, bay leaf, chayote, zucchini, carrots, and corn.
- Taste for salt. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Make sure there's enough water to cover all the ingredients. If not, add more water.
- Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.
- In last 10 minutes of cooking, add cabbage slices.
- Taste again for good measure.
- Top each bowl with cilantro.
- Serve along with additional lime wedges and tortillas.