In deep South Texas where I live, we are crazy about our Tex-Mex food!! When the weather turns cool, nothing warms the bones like a bowl of hot fresh-made Caldo de Res. It is a true Tex-Mex comfort food! Delicious, warming and so satisfying!
Generally, caldo is made with large chunks of meat & veggies. So when cutting veggies, cut them a little larger than you might normally for a regular soup or stew. (I do not recommend adding salt or pepper until just before serving.)
Put your beef shank and cooking oil in a large cooking pot with a lid. Brown the shank on both sides. If using another cut of beef, like a shoulder roast, cut the meat into chunks or use stew meat. Add broth & veggies except for cilantro, squash & cabbage. Simmer an hour or more. If using shank, remove whole shanks and cut meat into pieces. May leave the shank bones in the caldo to be discarded when served.
If you think the broth needs to be more flavorful or beefy, add granulated beef bullion as needed. Don't be afraid to add a bit more! This gives the caldo a richer flavor. The broth should be rich and beefy.
About a half an hour before serving, add a little water if necessary. Sometimes it cooks down a little. Toss in the squash, cabbage and chopped cilantro, stir and cover, stirring occasionally.
Simmer another 30 minutes, stir and serve in large serving bowls. Many kinds of Mexican soups and stews are served with wedges of fresh lime and with hot tortillas. Corn tortillas go well with beef caldo.
This is one of those wonderful recipes that tasted even better the second or third day, so refrigerate any leftovers. You could also freeze for later use. But after freezing, some of the veggies won't hold up well, but will still be delicious!