Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cocido de Res Mexicano (Mexican Beef & Vegetable Stew)

This is another of my mother's highly nutritious comforting soups. It has beef bones and other cuts of beef, along with combination of various vegetables. It is strengthening and healthy. Perfect for the cold weather many may be experiencing and need a picker upper.

In my house we often make meat and vegetable type soups especially in the colder months. Year round we also enjoy different bean/ legume based which we also believe to be very good for you and makes you strong :) (haha now if only I lifted weights and such to get buff)

-1 lbs. beef bone
-1 1/2 lbs. beef shanks (cut in half)
-1 lbs. beef spare ribs (seperate each little rib)
-1 lbs. beef stew meat (large 2 inch chunks)
-2 large beefy tomatoes chopped
-1 medium onion minced
-2 cloves garlic minced
-water (enough water to make into a stew, like enough to cover veggies)
-3 peeled medium potatoes cut in half into big pieces if small leave whole
-1 chayote cored and wedged about 1inch thick
-3 carrots cut into rounds about 2 inches long?
-1 corn cob cut into 2-3 inch rounds
-1/2 lbs. of green beans, washed trimmed
-2 Mexican squash (may sub for Italian Squash) cut in half then into 2-3 inch thick pieces
-1/2 of a large cabbage or 1/2 a medium or small cabbage cut into 1 1/2 inch medium squares
-1/2 a large bunch of spinach, washed well, coursely chopped
-1 cup cilantro coursley chopped
-salt and pepper to taste

(1)To clean meat wash beef bones and beef meat very well in water several times, squeeze lime juice into it and plenty of salt and rub it and rinse and rub and drain a couple more times. Set aside.

(2)Heat oil in a deep-pot that your gonna use to make the soup, add finely minced onion and sautee until golden around 5 minutes, then add garlic sautee another 2 minutes until fragrant, add chopped tomato until it releases juices.

(3)Now add water, bring to boil with beef bones, beef spare ribs, beef shank, and beef stew meat bring to a boil with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on medium low covered for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. When meat is boiling skim off any darkness that rises to the top (it shouldn't even rise if you cleaned the meat like I suggested in the directions)

(4)Add potatoes, carrot, corn, chayote, green beans, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

(5)Now add cabbage and squash, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

(6)Now stir in spinach and cilantro, add more water if necessary. Stir in until it starts wiling about 5-10 minutes.

(7)Your done :) the typical way to consume is with "Arroz Rojo" (Mexican Red Rice) and hot corn tortillas along with a hot sauce to add to taste in you plate and maybe a couple lime wedges. I just ate it simply alone with hot sauce and had the my mother's version of "Arroz Con Leche" (Rice Pudding) for dessert to warm me up further.

(1)These types of vegetable and meat soups and be done with Chicken, Beef, or Pork. My mom makes a really similar almost identical meatball soup called "Caldo de Albondigas" which uses the same vegetables just cut smaller and it's quicker, in it you steam little rice and mint meatballs until cooked.
(2)Another different stew you may be interested in is my post for "Cocido Salvadoreño" ( which is Salvadorian Beef and Vegetable Stew) seasoned differently and in addition to the veggies I used it uses Cassava Root (Yuca) and Yellow Plantains.

(3)You don't have to use the all the cuts of meat my mom likes to use if you want you can use just beef bone and substitute the rest of the meat for beef stew meat. You can even add some delicious ox-tail in addition to the other meats, etc.

(4)You can cut the veggies as small or as big as you want it depends on your preference.

(5)Don't drown it with tooo much water, it's suppose to have liquid but just enough to keep the veggies & meat in the stock not to drown them in. Although if you like it really soupy I guess it's okay.