Beef Caldereta is a classic Filipino stew and it's awesome. Made with beef, tomato and soy sauces, red wine, and a ton of veggies, this dish also features one secret ingredient you haven't ever (most probably) used in your stews. Liver pâté!
Do you know that Radiohead song where Tom Yorke sings "Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon"? That's exactly how my face looked yesterday in the early morning. I slept only a few hours: my head was aching, my body was in pain after the last gym session, and my mood was messed up. Luckily, I have a trick up my sleeve that makes even the darkest day brighter. On such days I cook interesting / different dishes I have never tried before. It makes me excited. I am a sucker for new, unexplored food - hence my blog!
Usually, the meat of choice in our house is chicken. It's cheap, accessible, and easy to prepare. Not on bad mood days, though. That's the time when I comb the grocery stores in search of lamb, fresh fish, or at least a good cut of beef. Maybe for you, my dear Americans or guys from other developed countries, beef steaks are staple, but for me to find them in my town is like to win a lottery. Seriously. I wasn't able to find them yesterday too. Well, what you gonna do? I ended up buying a few pounds of pretty looking beef stew meat.
My mind knew exactly how this beautiful piece of meat will be used. A few months ago I bookmarked a recipe for a Filipino stew called Beef Caldereta. The dish has Spanish roots, as it was brought to the Philippines by the Spanish occupants. Traditionally it's made with goat meat but nowadays many recipes substitute it with beef because it's easier to get. The meat is slowly simmered in a flavorful tomato based sauce with the addition of red wine, soy sauce, and veggies.
But what sets Beef Caldereta apart from all other stews, is the addition of liver pâté. It can be beef, chicken, goose, or any other kind of pâté you like. I know it may seem strange, but believe me, guys, liver mixture takes this dish to another level! It also acts as a thickening agent helping the stew to achieve the right consistency.
The bad mood flew away and didn't come back at the very moment when I tasted this stunningly delicious stew. Beef Caldereta surprised me. I thought that no stew in the world will ever beat a classic Boeuf Bourguignon, but this Filipino staple is a strong contender. If you are looking for a new way to prepare beef, I highly recommend trying Caldereta. Your family will thank you!
Beef Caldereta Recipe
- 2 lb (900g) beef stew meat , cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) chunks
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion , diced
- 1 carrot , diced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 4.25 oz (120g) can prepared liverwurst spread , or any pâté you like
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 red bell pepper , seeded, diced
- 1 green bell pepper , seeded, diced
- ½ cup frozen peas , thawed
- Season the beef chunks with salt and pepper. In a large pot, heat the oil and brown the beef on all sides, for about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
- In the same pot, add the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute more, until the paste is mixed with the veggies and starts browning.
- Add the wine and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Add the pâté and tomato sauce. Stir well.
- Return the beef chunks to the pot and pour in enough water to cover the meat. Add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 2 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
- When there are about 10 minutes of cooking left, add the bell peppers and peas. Serve with rice or baguette. Enjoy!