Beef Caldereta

Beef Caldereta is a beef stew made with beef cubes, simmered until tender in a spicy tomato sauce. This classic Filipino stew is rich in potatoes, bell peppers, green olives and is great for family meals and special occasions.
G is a very easy man to cook for. He will happily eat a bowl of chili or a plate of bacon and eggs for dinner. G isn’t picky, but he’s not adventurous.

After almost a decade of our shared lives, I have yet to persuade him to try other Dishes or Soups. He will be amazed at how my green mangoes or shrimp paste are pulled out of the fridge. He has yet to appreciate Filipino food fully, but he loves our Crispy breaded Shrimp, Beef Curry, and this Beef Caldereta. He loves to eat his steamed rice with tender meat, potatoes, and thick spicy sauce.

What is Beef Caldereta

Calderata is another example of Filipino cuisine’s Spanish influence. It comes from caldera, which means cauldron. This hearty beef stew is similar to Beef tongue and afritada in the preparation and uses tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. It also contains liver spread and shredded cheddar to thicken it and chili peppers for spice.

Calderata traditionally uses goat meat. It is usually made for holidays or special occasions. It is often served as an appetizer at parties, to go with beer or other hard drinks. The dish has become a popular dinner staple over the years thanks to more affordable meats like pork, chicken, or beef.

Cuttings of Beef Meat

Use tougher, more precise cuts from the rear muscle or front shoulder for best results. These don’t have much fat, but lots of collagen-rich connective tissue.

Bottom round is my favorite for kalderata, but bottom eye, chuck and rump roasts all work well. These cuts of meat are less expensive and they can be reduced in price by being slow-cooked.

Tips for cooking

  • While most supermarkets will sell pre-cut “beef stew” meats, I prefer to purchase the whole roast and then cut it myself.
  • Packaged beef stew meat usually contains scraps from different cuts of beef, and may cook differently.
  • Freeze the roast for a few minutes to make it easier to slice.
  • To ensure even cooking, cut the roast into uniform pieces and remove any gristle that is too hard to chew.
  • To maximize the flavor of beef, give it a good sear.
  • I like to pan fry the carrots and potatoes briefly.
  • This simple step keeps them in shape and prevents them from falling apart while simmering in the stew.
  • You can reduce the heat by removing the seeds and veins from the chili peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
    2 large potatoes. Peel and cut into cubes of 2-inch size
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cored. Slice into solids
  • Salt and pepper to your liking
  • 2 pints bottom about roast, divided into 2-inch solids
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 large carrots. Skin and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped and peeled
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups of water
  • 10 Thai chili peppers minced
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup liver spread
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 small green bell pepper seeded, cored, and cut into cubes.

Important instructions

  • Fire oil in a wide pan on average hotness.
  • Cook the potatoes and carrots until they are lightly browned. Drain on paper towels after removing the pot.
  • Save about 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Cook onions and garlic until softened.
  • Cook the beef until it is lightly browned.
  • Add tomato sauce, tomato paste and water. Chili peppers are also added. Bring to boil. Skim any scum that may be floating on top.
  • Salt and pepper to your liking
  • Reduce heat and cover the pan. Cook for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  • Continue to cook the potatoes and carrots until they are tender.
  • Stir in liver spread and cheese. Continue to stir until evenly distributed. Remain to heat until cheese is melted and the sauce has hardened.
  • Bell peppers and olives can be added. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, until crisp but still tender. Serve immediately

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