Monday, July 14, 2014

Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)

Its summer. Its hot. But what do I do? I make soup! I've had a hankering for some soup lately and I don't really know why. And I've been so eager to try a Mexican beef soup called Caldo de Res that I often see in Mexican menus. So when I recently visited the local Latin market, I came across a packet of ingredients they use for Caldo de Res and decided to try my hand at making this popular Mexican comfort food.

Off I went to research a good recipe online and came across this one from All Recipes and it couldn't be easier. I basically threw everything in the pot and allow to simmer until the meat and all its yummy veggies are tender. The flavor is reminiscent of the Albondigas I used to make (which reminds me, I haven't made Albondigas in a while), so it was quite yummy and comforting. It would definitely be the perfect comfort food to eat on a cold day. Or when you're sick. Or when you're craving it in the summer like me.

2 lbs. beef shank with bones
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz can) diced tomatoes
3 cups beef broth (or chicken broth)
4 cups water
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 medium potato, quartered
2 ears of corn, cut into thirds
2 chayotes, quartered
1 small head of cabbage, cored and cut into wedges

1) Remove some meat from the bones and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, leaving some of the meat on the bones.

2) Heat oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat, making sure the bottom of the pan is completely covered with the oil. Season the meat and bones with salt and pepper. Add meat to the pan and cook until meat has thoroughly browned.

3) Add onions and continue cooking until onions begin to brown. Stir in tomatoes and broth. The liquid should cover the bones by about 1/2 an inch. If not, add enough water to compensate. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour with the lid on loosely. If meat is not tender, continue cooking for another 10-20 minutes.

4) Pour in the 4 cups water and return to a simmer. Add the carrots and cilantro and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in potato, corn and chayote. Simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Push the cabbage wedges into the soup and cook for another 10 minutes.  Serve in large bowls garnished with more cilantro, lime wedge, and chopped onions.

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