Beef Kaldereta (or Caldereta) is a Filipino spicy tomato-based beef stew loved by many Filipinos. This spicy dish is commonly served on holidays and special occasions but believe me, there is no need to wait for a special event to enjoy this classic Filipino dish.
Traditionally, Caldereta is prepared using goat meat. But since it is rather difficult to come by, I opted to cook it with the more easily available meat...beef.
Beef is actually the more preferred meat by many as goat meat can be an acquired taste due to it's 'gamey' flavor or what we term as 'maanggo' in Tagalog.
And because this dish is so loved in the Philippines, especially in the north, that a lot of people cook it using whatever meat they like or is available, like pork and chicken.
The recipe itself is simple, but it might require a bit longer cooking time until the meat becomes really tender, but I assure you it is quite worth the wait.
The ingredients involved are also not all that difficult. Tomato sauce and some veggies like carrots, bell peppers, and potatoes, just like most tomato-based stews.
What sets this dish apart from normal stew is its spiciness. Normally this dish is made really hot. However, that can be adjusted to how spicy one can tolerate.
Since Armin and I are both spicy-food fans, this is nothing we cannot handle. The spicier, the better.
Additionally, liver spread is added for more flavor and to make the sauce thicker.
I used beef brisket for this recipe but other cuts can also be used. The other more popular cut for Caldereta is beef short ribs. Other tough cuts like round and chuck (shoulder, leg, and butt) are also ideal as they become flavorful and tender from low-slow cooking.
- 2-3 tablespoons oil
- 2 medium potato - cubed
- 2 medium carrots - sliced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 small onion - chopped
- 1 pound beef brisket or 2 pounds ribs
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 cups water (or more)
- 3 pieces bay leaves
- 5-6 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3-4 tablespoons liver spread
- 1 chili pepper or ⅛ teaspoon chili flakes (or more depending on one's taste)
- 1 cup green/red bell pepper - cut into squares
- 1 cup green peas
- ½ cup grated cheese
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil over medium heat in a pot or deep pan, add the potatoes and carrots and cook until edges are slightly browned. Remove potatoes and carrots from oil and set aside.
- In the same pan, saute the garlic and onion until limp. Add the beef chunks and fish sauce then cook for 5 minutes or until slightly browned.
- Add water and bay leaves. Season with pepper and bring to boil. Once it boils, turn down the heat to low and cover with the lid. Let it cook for 50-60 minutes or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed.
- Once the meat is tender, uncover and let it boil to reduce liquids to half. Add the tomato paste, chili and liver spread and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Add back the cooked potatoes and carrots and the rest of the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes. Lastly, add the grated cheese and season again with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.