Caldo de res: A Comforting and Nutritious Mexican Beef Soup

Caldo de Res, sometimes called also Cocido is a Mexican comforting and budget-friendly soup loaded with beef meat, marrow bones, and tasty vegetables.

Two bowls with caldo de res on a tray with a bowl of salsa and lime wedges on the side.

What Is Mexican Caldo de Res?

Caldo de Res is a hearty Mexican soup made of beef meat, bones, and vegetables. The dish is very versatile and includes some variations from around Mexico.

Vegetables are added depending on what is in season, personal preferences, and even dietary styles.

The recipe’s name comes from the combination of the Spanish word “caldo” which means broth and “res” which means beef or cow. It is also known by the name of cocido or sopa de res, depending on the region where it is made.

A close-up of caldo de res on a bowl.

Caldo de Res is well known in Latin American cuisine, most likely because was inherited it from Spain where traditional recipes like puchero and cocido Madrileño were brought during the Colonization.

In Latin America, every country will have its own version of this soup but today I want to share how a traditional Mexican Caldo de Res is made.

Growing up in a coastal state where the weather is hot all year round, you might think my mother will rarely make this type of dish at home, but she, like many Mexican moms, used to serve Caldo de Res even if the temperature was really high!

Nutritional Info

Caldo de res is made with beef bones and lots of vegetables, so is definitely good for you.

Bones broth has many health benefits such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Marrow bones also provide Omega-3, vitamin A, vitamin K2, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc among others.

The best meat for making this Mexican stew is the one on the cheap side, meaning the one with cartilage and full of connective tissue, which provides you with glucosamine and chondroitin, good for joint mobility.

And on top of that, the multiple health benefits from the fresh vegetables that complete this delicious and nourishing soup.

Read also: The health benefits of bone marrow broth.

Two bowls with caldo de res placed on an enamel tray with a bowl of salsa and lime wedges on the side.

Slow or Fast Cooking?

With the popularity of the Instant Pot appliance, you might want to try and make this recipe using one. You can do so, of course, it will accelerate the cooking time considerably.

However, I strongly recommend you try this recipe first with the conventional method of using your stove, it tastes a lot better in my opinion.

Or you can also try a slow cooker if you own one. Slow Cooking has been always my favorite method for this type of stew.

Read more about why is slow cooking good for you.

Ingredients needed

BEEF MEAT. Use soup bones and marrow bones. If you can find chamberete (beef shank) where you live, go for it because the traditional dish is made with it. If not, you can always use beef chuck, or ribs (which have some fat).

A enamel tray with various cuts of beef meat, such as bones and beef chuck.

VEGETABLES. You can add the vegetables that you like the most or that you have on hand. Like zucchini or Mexican squash, chayotes, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, green beans, peas, leeks, etc.

FLAVORS. Garlic, onion, and cilantro were the ones my mother always used. I still prepare it that way, but in many parts of Mexico they add other fresh herbs and it tastes equally delicious, for example, epazote, marjoram, bay leaves, and thyme, among others.

A bunch of fresh epazote on a wooden surface.
Fresh Epazote.

How to Make Caldo de Res Recipe

Wash the meat very well and let it soak for half an hour in water. Discard the soaking water and transfer the meat to a large pot.

Cover with water for about 2 inches (5 cm). Add a tablespoon of salt, garlic, and onion.

Cocido meat in a pot with onion, garlic, and salt.

Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat. With a spoon, discard the foam that will form during the first half-hour of cooking.

Removing the foam from the pot with a slotted spoon.

Set the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and cook for about an hour and a half (cooking times may vary, please read notes).

Caldo de res cooking after one hour in a large stockpot.

*While the meat is cooking, prepare the vegetables that you want to add. Wash them, peel them, and cut them into chunks more or less about the same size.

When the meat will be nicely cooked and tender, and this depends on the type of cut you have used, add the vegetables, cilantro, and tomato paste (the last is optional).

Use a spoon to mix a bit and allow the vegetables to be fully immersed in the broth.

The vegetables just added to the pot with meat.

Continue cooking for another 20-25 minutes or long enough for the vegetables to cook perfectly.

Caldo de res already cooked on a large stockpot.

Adjust salt to taste, turn off the heat and serve as suggested below.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure to use soup bones and marrow bones because those are the ones that give this caldo its amazing flavor.
  • Cut the vegetables into nice chunks more or less the same size, so they will cook evenly.
  • I like to use a little bit of tomato paste to give some color, but it’s not necessary, feel free to leave it out.
  • Use a large pot to make this recipe, you will need lots of room for the bones and vegetables.
  • If you want to cut down on calories, allow the caldo to cool down and store it in the fridge overnight. The next day you can discard the fat that has solidified on top and reheat.
  • Use large bowls to serve this recipe, you need room for all those veggies, meat, AND the delicious broth!
Caldo de res, also known as cocido, in a large pot.

How To Serve

Serve this hearty caldo with corn tortillas, blue corn tortillas, or also Mexican corn dumplings chochoyotes.

Rice is the common side dish, and you can choose what kind of recipe you prefer since it can be served with red rice, white rice, and even green rice if you like.

A spicy salsa is a must so is a squeeze of lime. The typical salsa to serve with Cocido is Salsa de Molcajete, which makes the dish even more outstanding.

Chile de árbol salsa is also perfect, and so is tomatillo red salsa. But if you want something spicier, try this Mexican chili oil.

Caldo de res, aka cocido, served on a white ceramic bowl with another bowl of red rice on the side.

How To Store And Reheat

  • Always allow to cool down before storing your cocido de res leftovers.
  • Place leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • Or freeze in a freezer-proof container for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw your Mexican stew overnight, then transfer it to a stock pot and heat it up on the stove over medium-low heat.
  • Or reheat in a microwave-safe container at 3 minutes intervals.

Watch The Video

Did you know? – There’s another Mexican stew called mole de olla which is very similar to this Mexican cocido recipe. Is made exactly as this I am sharing with you today, but with the addition of a guajillo sauce.

Caldo de res recipe.

Caldo de Res Recipe

author Maricruz
Caldo de Res, sometimes called also Cocido is a Mexican nutritious and budget-friendly soup loaded with beef meat and vegetables.
prep 15 minutes
cook 3 hours
resting time 30 minutes
total 3 hours 45 minutes
serving 6

Equipment

  • 1 large stockpot

Ingredients 

  • 2.2 lb beef shank
  • 1.5 lb marrow bones
  • 2 fresh corn ears (cut into 3 pieces each)
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • ½ small cabbage
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
  • 7 oz green beans
  • 1 medium onion (cut into half)
  • 2 garlic cloves (skin on)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Wash the meat very well and let it soak for half an hour in water.
  • Discard the soaking water and place the meat in a large pot well covered with water for about 2 inches (5 cm).
  • Add a tablespoon of salt, garlic, and onion.
  • Bring to a boil and cook over high heat. With a spoon discard the foam that will form during the first 30 minutes.
  • Set the heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for about an hour and a half. Always make sure the meat is covered with at least 1-inch of liquid.
  • When the meat will be very soft and tender, add the vegetables.
  • Continue cooking for another 20-25 minutes or long enough for the vegetables to cook perfectly.
  • Adjust salt to taste, turn off the heat and serve.

Notes

  • Make sure to use soup bones and marrow bones because those are the ones that give this caldo its amazing flavor.
  • Cut the vegetables into nice chunks more or less the same size, so they will cook evenly.
  • I like to use a little bit of tomato paste to give some color, but it’s not necessary, feel free to leave it out.
  • Use a large pot to make this recipe, you will need lots of room for the bones and vegetables.
  • If you want to cut down on calories, allow the caldo to cool down and store it in the fridge overnight. The next day you can discard the fat that has solidified on top and reheat.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 1large bowl | Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 1654mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 5814IU | Vitamin C: 80mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 6mg
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was so delicious! I totally fell in love with this Mexican soup! Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you, I used beef shank as you suggested. I didn’t have bones and couldn’t buy some so I went without.

    It was delicious! One of the most amazing soups out there. I also made red rice and salsa btw :)