Ask any local what his favorite Filipino comfort food is, and for sure, caldereta is on the list. This tomato-based stew is one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines. It is always present during fiestas, parties, and ordinary days at home. Foodies agree that caldereta is one of Spain’s lasting influences on Filipino cuisine (the Spanish word “caldera” translates to “cauldron”). While purists use goat meat for this recipe, more Filipinos nowadays use beef chuck, which is easier to find and cook. My version–Caldereta ala Osso Buco–uses beef shanks softened to perfection. The use of goose liver instead of liver spread also makes the dish a creamy treat. I use a pressure cooker to soften the beef fast. This dish melts in your mouth. It is worth the labor and the wait.
Caldereta ala Osso Buco
- 1 kilo, Beef Shanks (bone-in)
- A bowl of flour with sprinkled pepper (for coating the beef)
- 1 cup chopped chorizo (canned chorizo can be used)
- 2 cups potatoes, chopped
- 1 cup red and green bell peppers, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 cups, green olives with pimiento
- 1 cup pickle relish
- ¾ cup goose pate
- ½ cup garlic, minced
- ½ cup red onion, minced
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 1 liter, tomato sauce
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 2.5 liters, beef stock (beef cubes can be used)
- Salt and pepper
1) Coat the beef shanks with flour, salt, and pepper. Set aside momentarily.
2) On your pressure cooker, sauté 1/3 of the garlic in olive oil. Remove the garlic once it starts to brown and set it aside. Sear the beef shanks and brown them on the pot for 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd the beef, as this would prevent them from brown. Set aside the beef without discarding the oil. Coating with flour and searing the beef help seal in the flavor of the beef.
3) Sauté the potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, olives, onion, the remaining garlic, and chorizo for 2 minutes, giving them enough time to absorb the flavors from the beef. Add half of the tomato sauce. Simmer for 3 minutes.
4) In another pot, bring the beef stock to a boil. Add the tomato paste and the remaining half of the tomato sauce. Transfer the vegetables from the pressure cooker to this pot. Continue simmering in low heat.
5) Back at the pressure cooker, add the pickle relish, goose pate, bay leaves, and the garlic used in step 2. Add back the beef shanks. Pour additional sauce from the other pot until the shanks are completely submerged. Cook in the pressure cooker for one hour. [You can also bake this in the oven at 175º C for 2 hours. Another option is to cook using a slow cooker for about 6 hours or until the beef is soft]
6) While the shanks are cooking in the pressure cooker, add grated cheese to the other pot to thicken the sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes. Traditional caldereta makes use of cheese.
7) Once is the beef is done, mix in the sauce and vegetables from the other pot. Then serve. This dish serves four to six people.
This has become a family favorite. I hope you and your family get to enjoy this dish as much as we did. The first time I made it, I served it during lunch. We had some leftovers and had these for dinner. Guess what– they taste more delicious several hours later. So yes, you can make this dish in advance and for sure, you’ll have a dish that people will not forget. People will surely fight for the marrow of the beef. Yes, it may not be the healthiest thing to eat, but still, it is the most delicious! Really.
By the way, this recipe served as one of my two contributions to the latest issue of Expat Magazine. Many thanks to Expat Magazine for the wonderful opportunity. Of course, many special thanks to TJ and JV Ramos for making the contribution possible. Friends, Expat Magazine is still available at leading bookstores and magazine stands. Hope you can all buy the magazine! 🙂