?Caldereta? or Filipino Beef Stew as it is sometimes referred to by Filipinos in the West, is one of my favorite beef recipes. No surprise it?s one of my signature dishes which I can really cook by heart. Of course, I developed my own procedures from the many cooking styles which I heard, read or thought to me by friends and relatives. It is more of the Southern Luzon (Philippines) type, which I enjoyed eating early on during town fiestas (festivals) and family occasions in the Provinces of Batangas and Quezon.
Just like many Filipino dishes, Caldereta might have originated in Spain and brought to the Philippines by the Spanish Colonizers. You can find the same dish, called by the same name and with basically the same ingredients in the Spanish cuisine. The only obvious difference is their use of cinnamon stick which to me is something very interesting to experiment on to know how it will affect the flavor.
Just like the famous ?adobo?, Filipinos have loved the dish so much that apart from beef, they cooked it using other types of meats including pork, goat, lamb or mutton, carabeef (meat from Philippine water buffalo called carabao), chicken, duck, goose and other poultry meats, and yes, even seafood.
Whilst all of them are good, Goat Caldereta stands ahead of the others. So I have all the intension to cook and post it as well, sometime later. I?m just not so happy that price of goat meat or mutton here is double of that of the beef. :-)
The best type of beef for this dish is the muscle part with some fat and tendons. It doesn?t matter if it?s the tough part of the beef for it will undergo a very slow cooking until very tender anyway. But you can use any other beef cuts you like. Beef cube is also fine at it is composed of many parts combined altogether. For the meat, we need around 1 ½ kilos of beef cut into bite sizes. Thoroughly washed and drained.
For the marinade we need the following ingredients: 1½ cup sweet tomato sauce (or ¾ cup tomato sauce and ¾ cup sweet style banana catsup), 2 pcs bay leaves (?laurel?), ½ cup sweet pickle relish, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1tsp ground pepper, ½ tsp cracked whole pepper, 1 tsp salt or to taste.
For the sautéing ingredients, we need: 1tbsp vegetable oil + 2 tbsp margarine, 1 whole garlic, peeled and minced, ½ kilo onion, peeled and sliced (this is minimum :) ).
In a mixing bowl or deep pan place the meat and add all the marinade ingredients. Carefully mix everything until evenly distributed. It is best to do this ahead of the cooking time, with at least an hour marinating, but it?s also ok if done right away.
In a heavy pan, heat the oil + margarine and sauté the garlic followed by the onion. Continue sautéing until onion is translucent. On top of the garlic and onion, carefully add the meat and all the marinade. Cover and let the liquid to boil. As the meat is heated, it will render its own liquid so you don?t have to add water. Not for now.
When it boils, stir to blend the garlic and onion below with the meat of top. Lower the heat to the lowest setting possible, just enough for the liquid to gurgle. Cover and be prepared for the slow process of simmering the meat. If the liquid is drying out, you can add hot water or beef broth if you have, one cup at a time.
Check the doneness of the meat and the taste of the slowly thickening sauce. Adjust the level of salt and other seasonings. When the meat is slightly tender, add 1 pc potato, peeled and halves.
Meanwhile prepare the final ingredients are: 1 pc bell pepper, thinly sliced, 2 pcs potato peeled and cut into bite sizes, 1 pc carrot, peeled and cut into bite sizes, ¼ cup grated cheddar, 1 small can liver spread and ½ cup pitted green olives (which I don?t have right now).
When the halves potato is already cooked and soft enough to make into paste, take it out and put the bite size potato, carrots, sliced bell pepper.
In a bowl, mash the halves potato and mix the liver spread. Add about 2 tbsp of the sauce from the meat and continue mixing into paste-like consistency.
When the vegetables are cooked and the meat is fork tender, slowly stir the liver-potato mix. Add the grated cheese and green olives (if using) and continue stirring-simmering for some more minutes. Be careful not to scorch it at the bottom.
Transfer in a serving plate and serve with a lot of steamed rice. This is really delicious. It?s rich, tasty and succulent. No, I?m not in a diet right now. c?,)