Caldo de Res: Spanish Beef Soup

Total Time:
2 hr
30 min
1 hr 30 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 2 pounds beef shank, bone-in
  • 1 medium-sized white onion, small dice, plus 1 cup chopped onion, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 12 ounces beef stock
  • 12 ounces stewed tomatoes
  • 4 ears corn
  • 4 baking potatoes, like russets, unpeeled
  • 2 chayote, zucchini may be substituted
  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more, for garnish
  • Water, to cover
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 lime or lemon, cut into wedges
  • Corn tortillas, for garnish
  • Sliced jalapenos, for garnish

Chop the beef shank into large chunks, keeping some attached to the bone, as bone marrow is an important element of the dish. Saute the beef chunks with the chopped onions, salt, and pepper. After beef is browned, add the beef stock and the stewed tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer just below boiling point for about one hour, until the beef is "spoon tender."

Wash the vegetables. Cut each ear of corn and each potato into quarters. Cut equivalent chunks of carrots and chayote (if zucchini is used, keep pieces bigger as they will cook faster than chayote). Add the vegetables to the soup. Chop 1/4 cup of cilantro and add it to the mixture. Add water, to cover, the vegetables and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Cut the head of white cabbage into 1/2 and then into thirds, leaving the stem of the cabbage in. Wedge the cabbage chunks into the mixture and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Serve, making sure each bowl has chunks of all the vegetables. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon or lime. Serve with heated corn tortillas. Caldo de Res is accompanied by chopped sides of onion and cilantro which may be added according, to taste. Also, chopped jalapenos may be added for the perfect hangover cure.

The recipes for this program, which were provided by contributors and guests who may not be professional chefs, have not been tested in the Food Network's kitchens. Therefore, the Food Network cannot attest to the accuracy of any of the recipes.

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Cooking Tips
4.8 22
Turned out good. I simmered the meat for 1hr and 15 minutes rather than 1hr like the recipe says to make the meat more tender and it worked perfectly. 4 ears of corn is a bit much, so I would suggest 2 or 3 max. The amount of salt and pepper (especially pepper) is somewhat overbearing. I would change it to 1.5 tsp of pepper and 1.5-2.0 tsp of salt - if this is not enough, your guests can season to their liking, but me and my girlfriend agree that it is way too spicy with the recommended amounts. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I LOVE THIS SOUP! When I am sick this is the soup I crave. Sometimes I cant find corn on the cob so I just use frozen corn. I add a jalapeno with the seeds removed and use half the pepper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a fantastic soup and this recipe deserves top marks for being clear, easy and so amenable. Made mine with yuca/cassava instead of potatoes. Most beef cuts with the bone in work just fine, I've had it with shank in the past, but used beef plate short ribs/soup cuts and it was delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is all perfect ingredients...only thing I modified, are the times...I am Mexican and have eaten this many times so I know how soft this should be....simmering the meat...about 2.5 hrs....40 minutes after you add the vegetables...then about 20 minutes more after adding the cabbage.....this is how I make it, it is one of many is a perfect "puchero" or "caldo de res" or "beef soup"...different names, same thing!....times all depend in how fast you get the meat and vegetables really soft but not mushy... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tasty? VERY GOOD! but some modifications i made...i used small red potatoes, added garbanzo beans, and served with a side of mexican rice. (my grandma is from mexico and she served it this way) but this recipe is GREAT! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This soup is sooooo good! Instead of using meat on the bone I used pre-cut stew meat from my butcher but then add caldo de res powder to make up for the bone marrow flavor. I also use the Rotelle tomatoes with green chilies instead of the stewed tomatoes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe today, my opinion, very good, HOWEVER, too much pepper, couldn't give it to my kids. I suggest 1/2 the pepper (at least) so its edible for all, otherwise, its good. I'm hoping this will help someone who wants to make it, you can always add pepper/jalapenos/serrano if its not spicy enough. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was fantastic, I would not change a thing. It reminded me of my childhood in Texas. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This reminds me of grandma's. I'm so glad I found a worthy recipe; I haven't had this soup in a long time and I've been missing it. I love the huge vegetable chunks, and the cobs of corn. Yummy!! A quick note for anyone using stew meat or other lean cuts: be sure to add a couple of soup bones. The marrow is a very important flavor element in the broth. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my favorite soup of all time. Though I had no idea it had a name. It's one of my grandma's staple recipes. The only difference is she doesn't use cilantro in the soup and the veggies sometimes change (ie. sometimes using lima beans or peas). Also she uses short ribs, which may be easier to find than beef shank with the bone. She still leaves the bone in. Now that my grandmother is getting older my aunts are the ones that come over on the weekends to make the soup. Then I moved 700 miles away from home after college last winter and have been meaning to get the recipe so I can still have my soup. I tried to make it for the first time tonight (without a recipe! though now I have this as a reference), and it turned out pretty well! My apartment now smells like grandma's house! Yay! (It'll never quite be as good as grandma's though.) :D item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was absolutely delicious. We made it with three modifications, one out of necessity and two out of choice. Our butcher had no beef shanks, and at his recommendation we used a soup bone and some stew meat. That was out of necessity. We like lots of meat, so we put in over two pounds of meat on top of the soup bone. That was one choice. The second was to sprinkle a tablespoon of Alton Brown's homemade chili powder on the beef while sauteing with the onion, salt and pepper, just for a little extra kick. This might now be my wife's favorite soup. item not reviewed by moderator and published
GOOD item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is great and very different. We love soups and always looking for creative recipes. Great flavors. Love the chunky veggies! Will use this recipe a lot. item not reviewed by moderator and published
if you've never had this soup before it'll change the way you think of soup item not reviewed by moderator and published
Mmm, this Caldo de Res is a staple down here in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The way you cook it read a lot like my personal recipe. Good job. A variation that I make uses lime juice, green bell pepper, celery, and grey zucchini. Also, I like to add a jalape?o that has been seeded, and had the membrane removed. It gives it that sensation that you're about to get some fire, and at the last moment backs off. Appreciate your time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I cooked the peppers instead of just using for garnish. Left out the tomatoes. Used lime not lemon. Everyone LOVED this soup! I can't wait to make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Marrying into a partially Hispanic family has, at times, proved a bit intimidating when it comes to preparing anything, well, Mexican. This recipe was super easy and turned out great. My mother-in-law even shared with my husband a remark about how good it was and made just the right way with the large vegetable chunks. Thanks for a thumbs up from the family. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Peggy In Chicago Wonderful soup, great flavors, the only I would change is to cut the corn of the cob, and then place in soup. It is too hard to eat the corn on the cob when in the soup. Also of you can not find corn on the cob, you can substitute with frozen kernel corn. item not reviewed by moderator and published
out of all the spanish soups, this one has the best combinations of it all. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great recipe, I only have the problem of finding beef shanks at the local grocer. Otherwise, I would make this alot more often. item not reviewed by moderator and published
if neeed comfort this is the one item not reviewed by moderator and published