Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mexican Beef Stew / Caldo de Res

Hey There:

A few days ago I went to my local produce store for some tostadas and noticed they were selling bags of vegetables already cut-up and ready to be cooked. The exciting thing (for me) is that these were the veggies used in the Mexican Beef Stew (Caldo de Res) I grew up with! I bought the bag, looked up the recipe my Mom gave me over ten years ago and called her to verify some details. As with all family recipes I'm sure everyone has a different way of making it, this is my Grandmother's recipe, passed on to my Mom and now I'm making it!

Ingredients / Ingredientes

2 lbs Beef Shank / 2 libras Chamorro
The veggies can be as little or as much as you like, some will be found at Mexican grocery stores:
Corn on the cob / Elote
Bell Peppers / Chile Morron
Zucchini / Calabacitas
Carrots / Zanahorias
Pear Squash / Chayote
Cabbage / Repollo
Fresh Coriander / Cilantro
Salt to taste / Sal al gusto

  1. On a large pot add 10 - 12 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt, boil the beef shank at medium to medium-high for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add corn on the cob and salt cook for an additional 10 minutes. My Mom used to cook the beef on a crockpot and then transfer them into a pot for the next step.
    1. En una olla grande agregar 10 - 12 tazas de agua, poner a cocer el chamorro a temperatura mediana o mediana-alta for 30 minutos o hasta que la carne este tiernita. Agregar el elote y sal al gusto, cocer por 10 minutos mas. Mi Mama ponia a cocer la carne en una olla de cocimiento lento y luego los pasaba a una olla para agregar el resto de los ingredientes.
  2. Add the bell peppers, zucchini, carrots and pear squash. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes.
    1. Agregar pimiento morron, calabacitas, zanahorias y chayotes. Cocer por 10 - 15 minutos.
  3. Add the cabbage and fresh coriander. At this point taste the broth and add more salt if needed. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
    1. Agregar el repollo y cilantro. Cocer por 10 minutos.
  4. Done!
    1. Listo!
mexican beef stew

One thing that I love to add to my Caldo is Spanish Rice, which is cooked separately and is added when it is ready to be served.

Now this is foodie tip, or delicacy or weird thing, whatever you want to call it.....bone marrow is so good! Seriously, even Craft & Commerce in Little Italy has it in their dinner menu! The way I love to eat it is by scooping it out from the bone, smash it on a tortilla, add a pinch of salt and eat. The consistency is buttery, the only way I can describe the taste is delicate. I haven't had this treat in years, it was awesome!

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot. I also like to add Chile Buffalo, which is the wimpiest hot sauce there is (when I was a kid I used to add only 3 drops) and of course Mexican Coke has to be drink for this Caldo!


  1. Looking at the soup, there's it looks almost like the Filipino version called sinigang. Super sour with your choice of meats (beef, fish, shrimp but I like pork bone) with cabbage, sometimes potato and served with rice. But what sets it apart is the use of tamarind to make it super sour. Somehow I crave it on super hot days to cool me down. Go figure. But I love this soup because all the ingredients. No wimpy stock -- there's actually thing you can chew on!

    1. I think I've tasted that soup before, and you're right, the sourness of it makes it into an acquired tasted. I've only tried it once, will check it out again.

  2. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.