Spicy Beef Caldereta


We had so much catching up to do since we arrived from Cagayan De Oro City for the holidays. Talk about parties, reunions and stuff, we gladly and willfully attended those as much as we could in the last two weeks that we’ve been back.

However, there were times when some potluck gatherings just had me pooping out like anything with all the brainstorming on what to bring on those events.  Yes, sure, to buy food can be the easiest and the wisest thing to do, but half of me tells me that it’s still better if you make your potluck share yourself. Why? because 1. it’s more personal 2. the taste is according to your palatal satisfaction 3. cheaper and 4. it’s downright  ‘uncommercialized’. There. 4 solid reasons why you shouldn’t buy pansit malabon or mocca roll for your potluck contribution (hee hee).

Over at Marra’s two weekends ago, we had our belated barkada Christmas party. I decided to do a fuss-free (well, compared to my other party dishes..) dish. Spicy beef caldereta- it’s a filipino favorite. It’s my personal favorite, too. This version was passed on to me by my mom, whom I hail as the ‘kitchen queenpin’. She actually calls this dish adobado and is quite different from the usual way of cooking caldereta as the ingredients are layered, uses minimal canned/foiled tomato sauce and the potatoes are fried.

Okay, to cut to the chase, here goes the recipe for this version of spicy beef caldereta:

1 kilo beef brisket

about a dozen medium-sized tomatoes, cubed

1 pc calamansi

half cup soy sauce

1 head of garlic, minced

laurel leaf

2 large onions, minced

3 pcs siling labuyo, chopped

5 medium-sized potatoes, cut crosswise

2 pcs red bellpepper, julliened

a small bottle of pitted and stuffed olives

 salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup tomato sauce (for coloring)

1. Season beef with salt and pepper then marinate in soy sauce and calamansi for 30 minutes. Set aside.

2. Layer the ingredients in a casserole such that tomato is at the bottom, then marinated beef, garlic and onion at the top of the whole ensemble. This way, flavors lock in the beef that’s in the middle of the assembly.

3. Pour in about 3 cups of water to help liquify and wilt the tomatoes at the bottom. Bring to a moderate simmer.

4. Once drying out, continue pouring in water until beef tenderness is achieved.

5. Add the bell peppers, laurel leaf, sili  and the pitted olives. Mix in the tomato sauce. Set aside.

6. Meantime, deep fry the potatoes.

7. Pour the beef mixture onto a pyrex dish. Garnish with fried potatoes on top. Something like this:

I prefer slow-cooking versus using the pressure cooker for this dish. By slow cooking, you are assured to achieve the ‘nagaagaw na tomato sauce and mantika’ effect. I used minimal tomato sauce because you wanna achieve the most natural tasting  tomato sauce.


8 responses »

  1. I totally agree that iba ang taste ng fresh tomatoes. And the olives make for interesting contrast to the acidity of the sauce when you bite into it. The only hassle is actually the prep time. Lalo na chopping the tomatoes (I use more than a dozen kasi. hehe. I use 1:1. Per kg of beef…1kg of tomatoes that are very ripe.)

    I sear the beef first though…adds another dimension to the taste. Then I dump the garlic, onion and tomatoes with enough water to cover everything. Adding more liquid as needed. Etc…etc…

    Ginutom tuloy ako hahahahaha.

    • hi, tuesday! thanks for the suggestion about searing although, the concept of this caldereta is all about ‘layering’ the ingredients to lock in the beef in the middle. searing might be impossible for now. but yeah, i agree, you may use more tomatoes pa if you wish! thanks for swinging by this page.

  2. Hi Caren! I want to try your spicy caldereta recipe…it looks so yummy. However, I’m a little confused…how did you cook this? In the oven or in a casserole over the stovetop? You only mentioned slow cooking and I’m not sure what kind of slow cooking you meant. Thanks!

  3. Hi, Cathee! Sorry for the confusion. We don’t bake caldereta kasi. It’s always in a casserole slowly simmered using a stovetop. Thanks for swinging by my page!

  4. Yan ang tunay na Caldereta… mayroon olives… Hindi kagaya ng marami kung anu ano ang mga nilalagay sa ‘Caldereta’ nila.. mapala imbento…

    Though I don’t put tomatoes in mine nor tomato sauce.. and I add real mild cheddar cheese (not Kraft plastic cheese) kapag luto na then mix it up…

  5. by the way… I was serious about adding cheese in the end… try nyo and you won’t regret it.. Caldereta is also fabolous with red wine merlot… I mean to drink with it not to pour in it…

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