Nilagang Baka is a Filipino beef soup cooked until the meat becomes really tender and with vegetables like potatoes, beans, and cabbage that makes this simple soup healthy and flavorful. This dish is one of that ‘ordinary day’ dish that is served at a Filipino table on a regular basis. It is normally eaten with rice, of course, and I usually make a dip from fish sauce with chili flakes. It is perfect for the rainy days but is usually eaten all year round and even in the heat of the summer. It may sound weird to some, I know, but not to us Filipinos. It is actually kind of refreshing after eating a hot soup in the middle of a hot day. You just got to try it to believe it.
For this recipe, I used beef shank but you may also use other beef cuts like brisket, round, chuck, and even spareribs. The bones and collagen found in these cheaper cuts of beef are perfect for making delicious beef soup. These tough cuts become fork tender and tastier over long cooking unlike other (more expensive) tender cuts like steak or tenderloin which becomes exactly the opposite (tough and chewy) when boiled or stewed.
Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef Soup with Vegetables)
- 1 1/2 pounds beef shank
- 6 cups water
- 1 big onion - - quartered
- 10 pieces peppercorn
- 1 big (or 2 small) potato - - peeled and cut into 4-6 pieces
- 1 corn on the cob - (optional) - cut into 4
- 10 pieces green beans - - ends cut
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 stalks spring onions - - cut to inch-long pieces
- 1/2 small cabbage - - cut into 4
- Place beef shank in a pot. Add water, onion, and peppercorn. Bring to a boil at high temperature.
- Once it starts to boil, cover the pot with a lid and lower temperature to low. Let the beef cook for 30 minutes to an hour or until it becomes tender. Cut the beef into serving size.
- Add the potatoes, beans, and corn. Season with salt and fish sauce. Cook covered for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
- Add the spring onions and cabbage and then turn off the heat. Cover with lid and let the vegetables cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot.