Caldo de Res

Beef Broth

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    2½ quarts

Appears in

Eating Cuban

Eating Cuban

By Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs

Published 2006

  • About

Beef broth is the base for traditional Cuban dishes like ajiaco and ropa vieja. Though some home cooks skip the step of browning the beef bones and vegetables, chefs like our friend Eduardo know that browning gives this broth a deep amber color and rich, full flavor. This recipe also yields the beef for Ropa Vieja de Raquel (Raquel’s Shredded Beef).


  • 2 pounds beef bones, shin bones if possible
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon bijol (annatto seed seasoning; optional)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican oregano
  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and halved
  • pounds flank steak
  • 6 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the beef bones in a shallow roasting pan and brown in the oven for 30 minutes. While the bones are roasting, mash the garlic together with the salt, cumin, bijol, if using, and oregano and set aside. After 15 minutes, add the onion and bell pepper to the roasting pan and continue to roast for the remaining 15 minutes, until lightly browned. With tongs, remove the bones and roasted vegetables to a 3- to 4-gallon soup pot. Add the flank steak, tomatoes, bay leaf, garlic mixture, and 3 quarts water.

Cover and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Uncover the pot and skim off any scum that has risen to the top. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer the broth with the lid slightly askew until the meat is very tender, 1½ to 2 hours.

Strain the broth through a colander lined with two layers of damp cheesecloth. Remove the flank steak and reserve for Ropa Vieja de Raquel.

Discard the remaining solids. Refrigerate the broth; when chilled, skim off any fat from the top.