Traditionally, Filipino Caldereta is served on special occasions and festivities but as time changes so are the growing love for this dish. Everyone now enjoys it in their everyday meal. Filipino Caldereta is a type of stew of different kind of meats such as chicken, pork, beef and goat that is cooked in tomato sauce until it becomes tender along with potatoes, carrots and bell peppers. What gives this dish a distinct taste is the inclusion of liver spread or liver paste and chilies that very much compliments the meat on this dish. Caldereta is most popular in Luzon area where originally goat meats are used for this dish that is commonly farmed in this region but since the availability of goat is not that visible in most local supermarkets nowadays; beef is much more preferred and famously used for this dish.
Filipino Caldereta along other Filipino dishes has a Spanish influence on it as being a country colonized under it for 300 years. The word Caldereta in Spanish means “cauldron” referring to a large pot used in stewing. Although its history is uncertain, its roots can be traced to a Spanish stew with the same name that made up of red lobster and seafood but the lack of supply and the high cost of it might be the cause of its replacement to goat meat at that time. I was lucky enough to have tasted a goat caldereta when I had a chance to visit Cebu (located in Central Visayas). At first look, you would not notice that it was goat meat that they served but the taste was even tastier than beef. It is very light to the tummy and overall delicious. The chilies are a good complement to the goat meat as well which gave it a good boost of heat on the taste. It is also an irreplaceable ingredient that makes the caldereta stand out. I overheard the owner of the eatery said that goat meat was healthier which has half of the fat of beef or pork. Well, it sure is because it has less saturated fat, less cholesterol but high in potassium and iron. Sadly, as good as it is for our health it is not widely available unlike beef and pork so if you can find one in your local store, have it a go for your caldereta.
There are different versions of cooking this dish as there are a lot of Filipinos worldwide. Some use coconut milk to the broth that gives a creamy texture to their caldereta. Some never use tomato sauce but only raw tomatoes and annatto seeds to color their caldereta. Others make use of peanut butter to replace the liver paste to thicken the sauce. Still, others prefer it to be cheesy and more tomatoes in flavor that’s why they add cheese to the sauce and lots of tomatoes. While those who wanted it to be sumptuous that fits for a good occasion, they use some fancy and costly ingredients like green olives, garbanzos, pickle relish and green peas. These different versions should not overwhelm you as long as you have beef, liver paste, tomato sauce, potatoes and bell peppers you are good to cook a very delicious beef caldereta. For whatever preference you may have over this dish, one thing is for sure and that is a good hefty serving of rice is inevitable.
For the featured recipe we have for this dish, we make a simple way of cooking beef caldereta. It is more like a guide for first-timers who want to taste and cook this dish. We make a step by step tutorial that is effortless to follow for an easier way of cooking and enjoying this dish with all the basic ingredients. There are minimal cooking skills for this that suit beginners so if you happen to want to taste this dish but don’t know where to start or you are looking for a recipe that is easy to make and want to start with the basics; this one is for you. These basic steps will slowly transition you to make a more lavish and extraordinary beef caldereta. So, let’s put our aprons on and let’s begin to savor on cooking this easy and simple beef caldereta recipe.
Beef Caldereta ingredients
- 1 kilo (2 lbs.) beef, brisket
- 2-3 pcs kalamansi or lime
- 1/3 cup (79 ml) soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 packs of 200g tomato sauce
- 2 liters water
- 1 small can (85g) liver spread
- 2-3 bird’s eye chilies
- 2 large potatoes, quartered
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 red bell peppers, sliced
- 1 green bell peppers, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step by step to make Filipino Beef Caldereta
1. Prepare all ingredients.
2. Chop all vegetables.
3. In a small bowl, marinate beef in soy sauce and kalamansi or lime for 10 minutes.
4. In a pot, sauté garlic and onion.
5. Add the marinaded beef. Stir from time to time until beef changes color to light brown.
6. Add tomato sauce. Stir well.
7. Then pour in water.
8. Let it boil and then simmer until beef is fork tender. At this point, if you want to use the pressure cooker you may do so to cut down the time on cooking but I prefer the traditional way of tenderizing the meat because it releases flavor to the broth and absorbs the juice from the tomato sauce as it simmers away slowly.
9. Once beef is tender, mix in the liver spread. Give it a good stir until the sauce thickens.
10. Add the chilies. You may add as many chilies that you may want depending on how well you can take the heat.
11. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for about two minutes or until it is almost tender. Some want the carrots and potatoes to be stirred fry but if you’re cutting down on fried foods, this is a much healthier version.
12. Lastly, stir in the red and green bell peppers. Then season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
13. Enjoy eating!
How easy was that? Now you can make beef caldereta anytime you crave for a special meal. You can try cooking this also for your family and friends on big occasions or simple gatherings. It will be exciting also to share this recipe with them. For Filipinos who are abroad, this is a perfect dish you can cook so you won’t have to miss home. Almost all ingredients in this recipe are available to Asian food stores in your locality.
If you have questions or suggestions regarding our featured dish, please feel free to type in whatever your thoughts on this dish and we will be happy to answer all your questions. We hope you had a blast cooking this dish and please continue following this website for the more delicious recipe. One more thing, if you happen to know someone who would love to try out this recipe aside from your family may be a colleague or a foreigner who likes Filipino dishes, please don’t hesitate to click on the share button. Sharing is caring. Thanks.
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I’m a food enthusiast and an explorer of good taste from Philippines. I invite you to create an awesome adventure to the recipes I prepared as we take on the journey of getting to know the evolution behind the food that we love through its rich heritage and the amazing people that creates it.