Although the Mixe do not eat meat on a daily, or even frequent, basis, they do go all out for a fiesta, and this rich, flavorful meat and vegetable soup soup uses as many kinds of meat as people can get. Either fresh or dried beef, plus both chicken and turkey, are frequently used.
This recipe for caldo mixe is not quite as elaborate, using only beef and chicken, but it is still good for a large gathering where a one pot meal is easiest. I personally like to add potatoes with the other vegetables, and to brown the meat first, before adding liquid. This is generally not done with this dish, but I think it gives it an extra depth of flavor.
- 1 ½ pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon corn oil
- 2 large onions, 1chopped and 1 thickly sliced
- 12 large cloves garlic, 6 peeled and chopped, and 6 left whole
- 1 ½ quarts beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thirds
- 1-2 carrots, julienned
- ½ pound cabbage, thinly sliced
- ¼ pound green beans, cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces
- 1 ½ pounds small, new potatoes, cut into fourths
- About ¼ cup each cilantro and hierbabuena (mint) leaves
- 2-3 plum tomatoes
- 2 guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed, soaked in hot water until soft
- Salt to taste
Season the meat with salt, brown it in hot corn oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and chopped garlic. Stir to combine all, add the broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until the meat is almost tender. Add the chicken, vegetables, and herbs.
Toast the thickly sliced onion, the whole garlic cloves and the tomatoes on a dry comal or griddle. Peel the garlic and place toasted ingredients in a blender with the softened chile. Add enough broth from the pot to make a smooth puree.
Add the puree to the pot and continue cooking until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
Serve in deep bowls, garnished with chopped onions and chopped jalapeños if desired. Accompany with lime wedges and warm corn tortillas. Serves 6-8.
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