Mechado is a Filipino tomato-based braised beef with savory-tangy flavors from calamansi and soy sauce. Traditionally made using leaner and inexpensive cuts of beef inserted with pork fat to keep it juicy and more flavorful.
- 1 pound beef - chuck, round or brisket
- 100 grams pork fat (fatback) - cut into long strips about half-inch thick (See NOTE 1)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 piece lemon - or 6 calamansi
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1 big potato - cut into cubes
- 1 big carrot - cut into rounds about half-inch thick
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 6 pieces shallots - 2 pieces chopped, rest whole
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- 1 medium red bell pepper - cut into squares
- 1 medium green bell pepper - cut into squares
- 1 cup green peas
- fish sauce
Using a small knife, cut through the center of the beef to make a hole. Insert a pork fat from one end and push until it comes out to the other end. Do the same with the rest of the meat.
Place larded meat on a bowl. Pour in soy sauce and juice from 1 lemon and add ground pepper. Mix until all meat are well coated. Cover and marinate for at least an hour.
In a pot, heat oil over medium heat. Fry the potatoes and carrots until edges are lightly browned. Remove the potatoes and carrots from the pot and set aside. Turn heat to high and add the marinated beef and sear all sides until browned. Reserve the soy marinade for later.
Turn heat to medium. Move the meat to the sides. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until limp.
Pour in the tomato sauce and the reserved soy sauce marinade. Let it simmer for a minute or two and then pour in water. Add bay leaves and bring again to a simmer. Turn heat to low and cover pot and stew until beef is tender (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).
Add back the potatoes and carrots. Add the bell peppers and green peas and season with fish sauce as needed. Simmer until sauce is reduced and vegetables are cooked.
Cut the bigger chunks to a smaller size. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with rice or bread.
NOTE 1 : You may also use beef fat for larding.
For easier insertion of fat into the meat, you may use a larding needle or freese the strip of fat beore inserting.
You may also use the same recipe for 1 1/2 lb of meat.
Calories: 697kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 2025mg | Potassium: 811mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1655IU | Vitamin C: 95.7mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 4.7mg