Taco the Town: Caldo de Res at Pitic

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In a town where the chimichanga is king, we stuff our faces with Meximerican fare, forgetting what a bevy awaits us -- if we only look. Really hard. Consider Taco the Town your passport to the stranger (and equally delicious) side of the city and Mexico-inspired/imported treats.

This week: Caldo de Res served up by Pitic Restaurant.


¿Como se dice? Baby it's cold outside, and a hearty bowl of beef soup is exactly what's needed to warm the marrow of our bones. If that soup happens to contain a couple marrow bones, then all the better.

A steaming cauldron of caldo de res (sometimes called cocido de res) is the perfect way to keep warm in a cold snap. And in keeping with your New Year's resolution to eat better, this soup is veggie-packed, broth-based and loaded with protein. You can even toss in a tortilla and still keep it relatively guilt free.

(sink your teeth into all the spicy details after the jump)

La Comida: Caldo de res translates to beef broth, and puchero or cocido means stew, although this Mexican stew and the thickened 'Merican beef stew are two entirely different creatures. There's also a huge difference between a broth-based Mexican cocido and the chickpea-filled Spanish cocido, so make sure you know what you're ordering.

El Sabor: Regional differences exist in how caldo de res is prepared, but it's generally a broth packed with huge chunks of beefy rib meat and veggies. The basic veggies afloat in this soup are coarse-cut cabbage, onions, potatoes, carrots, squash, and corn on the cob. Depending on the area of Mexico you're in, yuca, plantains, chayote, green beans, garbanzos, and tomatoes can also be tossed in for a little variety.

At Pitic, this basic bowl of steaming hot caldo de res is served with a pile of rice, your choice of tortilla and salsa on the side. Make sure to have a fork and knife at the ready, because this soup is a hopped up, chunky monkey version of yo mama's bite-size beef soup.

Add bit of Mexico to your kitchen: Stop by your local carniceria (Mexican butcher) and ask for some rib meat, stew meat, and the most important part of all, marrow bones. Gather up all the fresh veg and get to boiling up a pot of caldo de res that would do any grandma proud.

What Mexican gems have you found in the Valley? Divulge your secretos in the comment section.

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