Latin American caldo de res is a staple dish in our gastronomy. It is a hearty comfort dish that you can prepare with a wide variety of vegetables.
If you have a cold there is not a better homemade remedy than a plate of soup. My mom used to call her recipe for caldo de res a “resucita muerto” because it basically brings you back to life.
It has a beefy, deep and rich broth along with tender meat chunks and a bunch of veggies. Of course, a splash of lime makes all the flavor shine in this soup.
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What type of meat to use for caldo de res?
In Venezuela, we usually use two or three types of meat in the caldo de res. This way you can have a richer beefy flavor. The most common combination is “lagarto con hueso y sin hueso” that would be shank with bone and shank without the bone. About half and half of each.
Something important to know is that bone has a tone of flavor. Of course, nobody wants to eat a bone soup but add a few pieces with bone and you will get a better soup.
Now, these are the most used meat types for this soup:
Ribs: This is the meat cut that has the most intense flavor. If you use ribs to try to add some flank to avoid pure bone soup.
Shank with the bone: Great balance for flavor
Shank without bone: My favorite meat cut. Tender and juicy.
Flank: This is the cheapest meat type. You can use it to add volume and “substance” to the soup. It doesn’t add much flavor.
What type of veggies to use for this soup?
In Venezuela traditionally we use ocumo (taro), ñame, and apio (arracacha). But here in Portugal it’s impossible to find one of these — it is way easier to catch a unicorn.
So I got inspired by the Mexican version of caldo de res. They usually use the following veggies:
These are easier to find options that will give you a great caldo de res as well.
Regarding the zucchini, try to cut the slices thicker — about 1 inch — this way it won’t disappear into the soup. Also, cut the carrot and the potatoes around the same size. All these tips will help you to get perfectly cooked veggies.
- 600 gr beef (note 1)
- Bouillon beef cube
- 1 onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 big potato
- 2 carrots
- 2 cobs
- 1 zucchini
- 1 handful coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lime
In a big pot pour about 1 liter or water. Take it to the stove over high heat and wait until it boils. Add the onion (without the outer layer and complete), the garlic cloves (peeled and complete), the bouillon beef cube, and the beef cut into medium size chunks. Simmer over medium heat for 60 minutes.
Cut the potato and the carrot into medium size pieces. Cut the zucchini into slices about 1 inch thick.
Take the onion and garlic cloves out. Add the potatoes, the carrot, the zucchini, and the cob. Simmer for 30 minutes until the veggies are fork-tender.
Add the coriander and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 1 minute and serve. Add some lime juice.
- You can use ribs, flank or shank for soup or stew (with or without bone). My favorite option is to use half of ribs and half of shank without the bone.
Owner and Food blogger on The Cookware Geek. She loves cooking, baking, drinking coffee, playing with the cats, and knitting. She believes that eating delicious meals doesn’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin star chef in your kitchen.