Caldo de Res is a delicious and hearty Mexican Beef Soup. With bone-in portions and large vegetable chunks, a big bowl of this dish is a favorite in Mexico.
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 has the best Caldo de Res recipe, 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.
How to Make Caldo de Res
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. There are three of us, and we all want that marrow.
“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 de Res recipe 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.
You can also use store-bought beef broth and skip this step. To each their own.
Homemade broth is the best, but I understand time can be something of an issue. Busy moms have to unite!
While that cooks, it’s time to get chop, chop, chopping!
This caldo recipe isn’t going to make itself. lol.
How to make homecooked meals faster?
One thing I’ve been doing is going to the grocery store and as soon as I get home, I immediately prep and chop my food.
Tomatoes get diced. The carrots are peeled. Etc.
Everything gets put into small containers, and I pull them out as I need them.
This making cooking a lot easier and faster.
I did this just yesterday, and it only took 1 hour.
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
If you can’t find this ingredients, just use more of one of the other veggies.
This caldo recipe is the way my grandmother made it. Since I’m making a Caldo de Res mexicano, that means adding “calabacitas.”
Some people also refer to them as “calabaza.”
They are a Mexican squash. I’ve even found them in grocery stores in a remote areas of Upstate New York. However, that was once and a long time ago.
They are sweeter than your normal Italian Zucchini. The skin should not be wrinkly but smooth.
Their growing season is longer. That’s why you can find them almost all year long.
Just take off the hard edges and dice before throwing them into the Caldo de Res pot.
Speaking of Mexicans, some people will also refer to this Caldo de Res mexicano as “cocido.”
For my non-Spanish speaking readers, “cocido de res” also means “cooked.”
Once you’re done with all the chopping, put everything in the pot.
I advise you to use a large stockpot. The largest you have in your kitchen.
This Caldo de Res recipe feeds 4-6 people, but it can feed more, if your family members are not big eaters.
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!
Frozen corn is probably already cooked. If you are using frozen ears of corn, throw them in at the very end with the cabbage.
I love the corn in this caldo recipe, but you can also use kernels of corn.
How Long Does Caldo de Res Last?
In the refrigerator, the soup lasts for 3-4 days.
To freeze leftovers, place in a plastic freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible.
Be sure to let it cool completely before placing it in the freezer.
The soup will last 4-5 months in the freezer.
This Caldo de Res recipe is great for new moms and sick friends alike.
Spicy Vs. Non-Spicy
There is a jalapeño in the soup itself. It is not spicy at all, but if you’re afraid to cook with it, omit the jalapeño altogether.
For my fellow spicy lovers, add a few slices of raw jalapeño to your soup bowl.
Start with one and see if you like it. Add more if you want it spicier.
Another thing I do to spice up the Caldo de Res is I will add crushed chile de arbol or crushed chile piquin. This will make it very spicy.
Start small and add more as needed.
Serving this caldo de res recipe, you need a dozen tortillas or so.
My mom sometimes would add white rice at the bottom of the soup bowl.
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!
Don’t Forget to Watch the Video on How To Make Caldo de Res
Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)
- 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.
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