Ah, the Beef Caldereta. A hearty beef stew that brings Filipinos back to their childhood home, or their Lola’s kitchen just by its rich, robust scent. Every Filipino household has its own version and always one family member that is an expert at it. Beef Caldereta’s association with good memories comes from its history of traditionally being prepared for special occasions–family reunions, birthdays, town fiestas, etc. The reason being that this recipe takes a lot of time and patience with some recipes taking up to 8 hours for the beef to tenderize!
Lucky for our generation, we have the conveniences of pressure cookers and pre-cut beef to shorten the process. And as your great, great ancestor who passed on your family’s Caldereta recipe will probably tell you, picking good, quality meat is very important. So we asked our in-house butchers for some insight and tips on cooking Caldereta.
Q: What part of the beef is best used with Caldereta?
A: Beef short ribs or beef cubes.
Q: What should people consider when picking cuts for Caldereta?
A: They should always consider lean vs. flavor. If they want a more flavorful mixture, they should use beef short ribs because the bones that are included in these cuts add the flavor Caldereta should have. But, if they want a layered combination of lean and fats, they should consider beef cubes.
Q: Is there any secret ingredient for a really good Caldereta recipe?
A: Usually, we recommend putting coconut milk, cheese and liver spread for a creamier and flavorful mixture.
Q: Any special technique in softening the beef or adding flavor?
A: We recommend using pineapple as a natural tenderizer that also adds flavor to the beef. It dissolves the connective tissue that makes the beef cuts tough. Rub a slice of pineapple on both sides of the sliced beef and leave it for a few hours before boiling.
Ready to prepare your own Beef Caldereta? We’ve picked out 3 different recipes online for you to choose from. Tell us which one you tried and how it turned out!
Spicy and like his own grandma’s version from pinoykusinero.com
Find Caldereta Cuts for your recipe at any of Meat Depot’s branches:
283 Aguirre Ave., BF Homes, Sucat