Caldo de Res con Guajillo Chile

Beef Soup with Guajillo Chile


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

Take your time while cooking this dish. You want the beef to be butter-tender and have it melt in your mouth as soon as you start chewing. It’s a very simple dish so try to get the best-quality ingredients you can. I cook with grass-fed beef at my home in L.A., because I find it’s the most similar to the beef you can find in Oaxaca.


  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 pounds (910 g) bone-in short ribs, sliced by your butcher
  • 2 pounds (910 g) beef shank, sliced by your butcher
  • cups (300 g) chopped carrots
  • 4 cups (600 g) sliced potatoes
  • 2 cups (220 g) sliced chayote
  • 2 cups (220 g) trimmed green beans
  • 4⅓ cups (400 g) sliced cabbage
  • 5 guajillo chiles (25 g), seeds and stems removed
  • 1 small white onion (100 g), quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves, freshly ground
  • ½ cup (75 g) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • ½ cup (20 g) fresh cilantro
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint

For the Garnishes

  • Minced onion
  • Minced serrano or jalapeño chiles
  • Lime slices


In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water to a boil and add the salt, short ribs, and beef shank. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 90 minutes. Skim any impurities that rise to the top of the broth.

Add the carrots, potatoes, and chayote to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the green beans and cabbage. Continue to simmer for 20 minutes while you rehydrate the chiles.

Bring the 2 cups (240 ml) of water to a boil in a small pot. Turn off the heat then add the chiles and soak to rehydrate them.

After 10 minutes, put the softened chiles in a blender along with the onion, garlic, spices, and tomatillos. Blend until smooth. Strain through a double-fine-mesh strainer and add the puree to the simmering broth. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the cilantro and mint. Turn off the heat and let the soup sit for 10 minutes. Serve with onion, chiles, and lime.