This caldo de res, (Mexican beef soup), is seriously one of the most comforting soups ever. It probably has to do a lot with the fact that it was a staple in our house growing up and was always something I looked forward to. To this day my abuelita Socorro makes THE BEST caldo de res and it always is so dang good for the soul. It is full of veggies and flavored by a delicious beef broth made from cooking the beef in water before adding all the veggies. It’s hearty but healthy and, let me me be real, perfect with a side of Mexican rice.
Let’s talk about what type of beef you’ll need for this caldo de res, (Mexican beef soup). Traditionally bone-in beef shanks are used for this soup. The flavor you get from the bones is definitely worth the trouble of finding them. Sometimes the meat that goes along with the beef shank can have some tough parts so it is always a a good idea to have a combination of different cuts of beef. I would recommend using beef chuck roast or top roast along with beef shanks. If you cannot find beef shanks then I would still recommend you find some kind of beef bones to really get the good flavor that this soup is known for. Still no bones to be found? No worries, this will still be absolutely delicious and comforting!
As mentioned about, the beef will get cooked in water first to make the broth base for this caldo de res. You will cook it with onion, garlic, salt, and a bay leaf. Once the beef starts to cook it will let off some foam and extra fat and you will just skim that off as it appears. Once the beef has cooked some you can remove the beef shanks to cut the meat into chunks and put it all back in. You will want to keep the bones in to really keep the flavor and richness in the soup. All the vegetables get added to the beef with more water and this simmers for a while until veggies are all cooked and softened. The veggies get all the flavor from the broth and you get a delicious and comforting beef soup.
Growing up my abuelita would always make a big pan of Mexican rice, homemade tortillas, some salsa verde, and some salsa roja to go along with this. Trust me, you want to make some homemade salsa for this to really get that authentic Mexican dish experience. It’s so easy to make and can be done while the soup is cooking. My ultimate favorite is salsa verde and you can find my recipe here. Just drizzle a bit of that on to this soup and you are good to go! Bonus if you make a batch of my fideo found here or Mexican rice found here to go with this soup. Serious ultimate comfort right there!
Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)
- 10 cups water divided
- 2½ lb beef bone-in shanks and roast;
- 1 onion quartered
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 medium zucchini chopped
- 1 medium yellow squash chopped
- 2 small russet potatoes chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes chopped
- ¼ large cabbage chopped
- 2 ears of corn cut in half
- cilantro handful
- 4 oz tomato sauce
- Leave beef shanks on bone and cut beef roast into 1 inch chunks.
- Place a large pot over high heat and add 8 cups of water, onion, garlic cloves, bay leaf, salt, and beef. Cover with lid and leave on high heat until the water comes to a boil, about 15 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. After simmering remove beef shanks and cut the beef into chunks and add back in to pot with bones.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients, cover, and simmer on medium heat for an additional 30 minutes until veggies have cooked and become tender.