Nothing beats being in the kitchen during the colder seasons and cooking this hearty cocido recipe. Cocido is a Mexican beef soup that fills the whole house with warmth on a breezy, cold fall day. This one pot meal is an incredibly delicious and healthy meal the whole family will enjoy!
When fall season rolls in, we crave this pot of cocido de res also known as caldo de res or sopa de res. Both caldo de res and sopa de res translates to beef soup.
Since this particular beef soup recipe uses beef shanks you may also hear the soup referred to as caldo de chamorro or beef shank soup.
This cocido recipe is a typical Mexican dish that’s served during the fall or winter months.
This Mexican caldo consists of tender beef swimming in an incredibly tasty broth and lots of colorful vegetables.
The soup is simmered for hours. All the components of the beef – collagen, connective tissues, bone and marrow meld together to provide a great depth of flavor.
Ingredients needed for cocido de res
Chamorro de Res (Beef Shanks)
The first and most important ingredient is our chamorro de res or beef shank. A typical meat cut in Mexico, shanks come from the forefront of the steer just below the brisket. The chamorro gives the broth the best flavor.
This bone-in meat is loaded with flavor and can be very tender when cooked right. This horizontal cut meat is quite tough and full of connective tissue making it best for slow-cooking in broth which prevents the meat from drying out. You can easily prepare barbacoa to eat with tortillas with this cut of meat.
You can also brown the shanks in olive before slow-cooking to lock in the juices, flavor and texture.
You’ll have the best luck at finding beef shanks by visiting a carnicería which is a Mexican meat market.
If you can’t find shanks you may substitute for bone-in chuck roasts, ox tail or short ribs but make sure to get some bones in your broth.
Ox tail would be a good substitute for its bold, beef, rich meat. This cut from the cattle’s tail has a stronger flavor than shank and is also perfect for slow-cooking.
The next ingredient on our list are the vegetables. Caldo de Chamorro has so many different variations on the types of vegetables used not just in Mexico but in wherever part of the world it is prepared.
Traditionally, this soup has chunks of cob corn, potatoes, green beans, and carrots. Also try cabbage wedges, squash, or zucchini.
I’m using celery, carrots, potatoes and cabbage, Basically, any garden variety vegetable in season will swim beautifully with all the components in caldo de chamorro.
Seasoning and Aromatics
Onion, garlic, bay leaf, black pepper, salt and tomato sauce.
It’s time to cozy up with this hearty stew so let’s get cooking!
How to make cocido
Add the beef shanks, garlic, onion, bay leaves, salt and black pepper to a pot. Then cover with water and bring to a boil.
Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Then reduce the heat to low and cover.
Simmer for about 1 hour and a half or until the shanks are tender.
Remove the beef shanks from the pot and set aside.
Strain the broth. Discard the onion, whole garlic head and bay leaves.
Return the broth and the shanks to the pot.
Add the tomato sauce, piece of onion, garlic cloves and broth to a blender.
Blend until smooth then pour it into the pot with the broth.
Check the broth for salt and add some if desired.
Now it’s time to add the celery, carrots, potatoes and cabbage to the pot.
Continue to cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the veggies have reached your desired texture.
Then it’s ready to enjoy.
What is the most popular Mexican soup?
What to serve with cocido?
Simple, cozy and unpretentious, your family will surely enjoy this dish. Serve with avocado, lime juice and corn tortillas. Garnish with raw onions, jalapenos, and lots of cilantro.
Is caldo good for you?
Caldo de res is made with bone-in beef shanks and lots of vegetables, so it is delicious, nourishing, and definitely good for you.
The star of our Mexican stew is the chamorro de res. These versatile beef shanks are full of immune boosting properties which will lend all that goodness into our broth.
Albeit a cheap cut, all the cartilage and connective tissues are packed with glucosamine and chondroitin which are good for joint mobility.
You should never do two things with this Mexican cocido recipe. First, never cook it in small batches (always make enough for a horde) and second never ever serve it in small bowls. You need big soup bowls or soup plates to accommodate all of the components and the heartily dig into.
I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe and I hope you’ll give it a try! I’d love to hear what you think of it in the comments below and don’t forget to leave it a rating.
Cocido Recipe (Mexican Beef Soup)
Cocido or Mexican beef soup is a delicious and healthy dish that's perfect for the colder seasons.
- 3 lbs beef shank
- 1/2 onion plus 1/4 of an onion
- 1 head garlic plus 3 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 12 cups water
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 5 celery ribs chopped
- 5 whole carrots peeled and chopped
- 5 gold potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 head of cabbage in wedges
Add the beef shank, 1 head of garlic, 1/2 onion, bay leaves, salt and black pepper to a pot. Cover with the water and bring to a boil.
Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the shanks are tender.
Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside. Strain the broth. Discarding the onion, garlic and bay leaves. Return the broth and the shanks to the pot.
Add the tomato sauce, 1/4 of an onion, 3 garlic cloves and 1 cup of broth to a blender. Blend until smooth then pour it into the pot.
Check the broth for salt and add some to taste.
Next add the celery, carrots, potatoes and cabbage to the pot. Continue to cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the veggies are to your desired consistency.
Serve and enjoy!