Caldo de Res

In Como Agua Para Chocolate, Tita leaves her home, falls ill, and stops speaking. She goes to Texas and is treated by a doctor, but she remains silent. It isn’t until Tita’s friend from home, Chencha, returns and cooks for her that she begins to speak again.

Tita states:

“Los caldos pueden curar cualquier enfermedad, física o mental. Bueno, al menos eso era la creencia de Chencha.”
“Soups can cure any illness, physical or mental. Well, at least that was Chencha’s belief.” 

The soup Chencha cooked (and cured Tita’s illness) is called Caldo de Res. It is an incredibly common and traditional dish, served in many parts of Mexico. I’ve had this soup on countless occasions and it never fails to soothe and satisfy.

You will need the following ingredients:

  1. 1-2 lbs of beef bones with marrow
  2. 1 white onion, cut in quarters
  3. 2 cloves of garlic
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. 1-2 lbs of chuck roast
  6. 2 qts. of water
  7. 1 potato
  8. 2 carrots
  9. Cabbage (about 1/4 head)
  10. 1-2 pieces of corn, cut in halves
  11. Cilantro
  12. Chiles Serranos
Take the beef bones, chuck roast, garlic, onion, and bay leaves and put them in a large pot with water. Put on medium heat until water begins to boil. Let it boil for 20 minutes and take out the foam which forms at the top of pot. After 20 minutes, turn down the heat (to medium or medium-low), cover, and let it cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is very tender.
Once you get to this point, add salt ( I should have added much much more, so don’t be afraid to just pour it in there!).
Also, add in the potatoes, carrots, and corn. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the cabbage and cook until it’s translucent.

To finish, serve hot! Top the soup with some diced serranos, cilantro, and onions. Heat up some tortillas to eat with the soup.
Some quick notes about the soup:
– I made this for myself in a small pot, so if you’re making it for a big meal, double the portions.
– Typically, this is cooked with an added anaheim (just one). I couldn’t find any, but if you decide to use it- add it at the beginning and boil with the meat. It will make your soup more spicy.
– If you notice…I diced the onion and put it in the soup. Oops! Don’t do that. Cut it into quarters, then add the diced onions at the end.
– The beef bone with marrow IS eaten and is considered a delicacy. Put it on a warm tortilla, roll it up, and try it. Be adventurous.
– I cooked my soup for about 4 hours. Make sure to add the potatoes, carrots, etc at the very end. If not, the soup will turn out really mushy!
I have to say that this turned out so so good. I even ate it for breakfast. Kudos to my mom for the recipe.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!


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