Chop the beef shank into large chunks, keeping some attached to the bone, as bone marrow is an important element of the recipe. 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 1 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 Italian 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 half 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. Caldo de Res is accompanied by chopped sides of onion and cilantro which may be added according to taste. Chopped jalapenos may be added for the perfect hangover cure. Serve with heated corn tortillas.
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