Wakavaki – Yoreme Beef Soup

Click here to go to printable recipe: Wakavaki Style Beef Soup    

In my previous post, I talked about the Yoreme (also known as Mayo, Yaqui or Yoeme), an indigenous group located mainly in the Mexican states of Sonora, Sinaloa, and to a smaller extent, Durango and Chihuahua, as well as in a related community in Arizona, in the United States.  They have a constant vision to preserve their ancient traditions, although they have embraced their adopted Catholic religion, and most of their celebrations are centred around the Christian calendar, such as Christmas, Lent and very prominently, Holy Week and Easter.  During these celebrations, there are dances and rituals, representing Nature, and the forces of good and evil.  In addition, a group of volunteers called fiesteros (the party crew) who are in charge to organize the events in each town, nourish performers and attendants alike, preparing a huge pot of cocido de vaca – beef stew, called in Mayo language Wakavaki or Guakavaqui (waakas – cow; baki – broth) over an open fire.  As they feed the crowds, this dish is also a ceremonial custom, as a thanksgiving for the animals (beef) and plants (veggies and herbs) that are used in its preparation.  At this scale, the vegetables are simply halved or cut up into large chunks, for example, the Three Sisters that constitute the base of their diet: corn (still on the cob), beans, still green, and summer squash (photo below, left).  In the modern family kitchen, the corn kernels may be removed from the cob, and the green beans and summer squash (in this case, zucchini), sliced to bite-size scale (photo below, right):

Other vegetables are processed in the same manner, for example, carrots, green chili peppers, and cabbage, originally in chunks and wedges (photo below, left), or cut-up into spoon-friendly shapes (photo below, right):

A nice spin to this relatively simple dish, is that it may be scaled up or down as much as needed.  My recipe uses beef and all the veggies sliced into small pieces, to fit a standard 8 quart (7.6 litre) pot; therefore, I am adding the word “Style” to the title, since it is not processed as the Yoreme would in their town-sized batches, cooked in a huge vat.  

Wakavaki Style Beef Soup – Cocido de res estilo guakavaqui

Printable recipe: Wakavaki Style Beef Soup

Ingredients (for approximately 20 portions)

2 lb (1 kg) beef meat, cut into chunks, plus a few pieces with bone
½ white onion; peeled, and cut into pieces
3 cloves garlic; peeled
4 cups cooked chickpeas (homemade, or 2 cans, drained)
4 ears fresh corn; husks and silk removed, washed, and kernels scraped from cobs
2 cups green beans; washed, trimmed, and sliced into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cylinders
3 green chili peppers, such as Anaheim; washed, seeds and stems removed, and sliced
3 zucchini; washed, ends removed, and sliced
3 carrots; washed, ends removed, peeled and chopped
¼ cabbage; sliced into bite-size pieces, washed and drained
1 tomato; washed, stem spot removed, and halved
2-3 sprigs cilantro; washed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Water, as needed
To serve:
Wheat tortillas (check my recipe for homemade, or from package)
Lime wedges (optional) 

Place beef in a large pot over the stove, cover with water and add onion and garlic (photo below, left).  Turn on the heat to High, bring water to boil, then skim and discard any traces of foam with a spoon (photo below, right):

Reduce heat to medium, partially cover the pot with lid and allow meat to cook (photo below, left).  Continue cooking for at least one hour, until beef is tender.  Remove pot from heat.  Transfer meat to a working surface; discard bones, and slice meat into bite-size pieces (photo below, right):

Reserve meat.

Strain broth through a mesh into a large pot (8-quart—7.6 litre) over high heat (photo below, left).  Add boiling water, to fill the pot halfway. (photo below, right):

Bring to a boil, then add cooked chickpeas (photo below, left).  After ten minutes, add carrots and Anaheim peppers (photo below, right):

Stir to combine, and allow to cook for five minutes, then add the corn kernels (photo below, left).  Five minutes later, add the green beans (photo below, right):

Reduce heat to medium, cook for another five minutes; add cabbage, then place the tomato halves on top, cut side facing down (photo below, left).  Once the tomato skins begin to wrinkle, remove and discard (photo below, right):

Add zucchini (photo below, left), stir, then add reserved cooked meat, and incorporate all together (photo below, right):

Continue cooking until meat is hot, then add cilantro, and add more boiling water, as needed (photo below, left).  Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and keep piping hot until serving time (photo below, right):

Serve in bowls, with wheat tortillas on the side:

Although not used in the original recipe, my husband and I thought that the addition of lime juice to our bowls worked really well. 

I brought most of this Wakavaki to my church, as part of a soup luncheon charity fundraiser that takes place every Sunday in Lent.  I think Wakavaki fits right in with this tradition, and the soup (and the limes) were well-received, as can be appreciated, from the almost empty pot, in the photo below:

For your convenience, click on the highlighted text below for products available on Amazon™.  DISCLAIMER: Any reviews included in this post are my own, for items I have purchased, not provided by any company; as an Amazon Associates Program affiliate, I might receive a commission for any purchases originated from the links below, at no extra cost to you.  Thank you to readers who have bought other products starting with a click from my links!

I am bringing my recipe to Full Plate Thursday #635 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

I am sharing my post at Thursday Favourite Things #603, with Bev @ Eclectic Red BarnPam @ An Artful MomKatherine @ Katherine’s CornerAmber @ Follow the Yellow Brick HomeTheresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.

I am joining Fiesta Friday #479  with Angie @ Fiesta Friday, this week co-hosting with Pauline @ Beautiful Voyager.

I am sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #414 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

5 thoughts on “Wakavaki – Yoreme Beef Soup

  1. We sure have enjoyed featuring your awesome post on Full Plate Thursday, 636 this week. Thanks so much for sharing with us and hope that you will come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

    Liked by 1 person

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