For a hearty and filing Filipino recipe, kalderetang baka is one of the best dishes you can make for your family. At its very essence, kaldereta are chunks of meat along with different chopped vegetables stewed in tomato sauce or paste. It’s a very popular Filipino dish that is served in literally every occasion. Special occasions like Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, weddings, etc. will all have feasts and you’ll never one without a serving of kaldereta.
Plus, Filipinos also serve it for their day to day meals, especially for lunch and dinner. It’s also one of the most popular dishes to serve in karenderyas because it’s so simple to make and it’s usually the first platter to run empty because a lot of customers line up to eat it.
Kaldereta recipes originally use goat’s meat but nowadays, more and more people opt to use alternative meats like pork or beef. Kalderetang baka is a beef stew recipe that has become a staple Filipino dish known for its hearty and savory flavors.
Although it’s a staple Filipino dish, kaldereta’s Spanish influence is undeniable as kaldereta is derived from the Spanish word “caldera”. This probably stems from the fact that the traditional way to cook kaldereta is by using traditional Filipino cauldron shaped earthenware called palayok. It’s the best way to cook kalderata but more modern methods are more popular nowadays but the delicious flavor of the dish is retained.
As I said, kaldereta traditionally uses goat meat, but because it’s rarely available in the public market and sold out incredibly fast, most Filipinos opt to use other meats like chicken, pork, or beef. I like to cook with beef for my kaldereta recipe because it’s slightly healthier than pork and gives a hearty flavor to the dish with a smoother texture to chew on. For the healthiest version of this dish, you can use chicken cuts on your kaldereta.
Kaldereta’s other ingredients make up its savory and creamy sauce that it’s most known for. With a kilo of beef cuts, you’ll need one cup of tomato sauce and a big can of liver spread or ground liver. This is basically what the thick, creamy sauce of the kaldereta is made of.
Other ingredients to add a dose of healthy nutrients to the recipe are slices of tomatoes, chopped potatoes, slices of bell peppers, chopped carrots, and chili peppers. Some also add green peas. All of these along with the meat is stewed with the mixture of liver spread and tomato sauce to create the mouth-watering beef kaldereta.
Very simple right? Just add some beef stock or water to increase the volume of the sauce and let it simmer until the sauce thickens. Add some shredded cheese olives to add some creaminess to the kaldereta to make it even more savory.
The result is a colorful plate with the beef right and tender and tomato flavored sauce deliciously sweet with the perfect amount of spiciness. Serve with fluffy white rice and you’ve got a hearty Filipino meal prepared.
We should note that people can be often confused afritada, mechado, and kaldereta. They don’t really know the difference. I found out through my time going through tons of recipes online that while all three Filipino dishes use cuts of carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and bell peppers, kaldereta is the only recipe that uses liver spread and cheese to thicken its sauce and chili peppers to give it a good amount of spice on the flavor.
- 1 kilo beef, cut into chunks
- 1 big can liver spread or ground liver
- 5 onions, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 green peppers, diced
- 3 red peppers, diced
- 4 pieces hot chili peppers, minced
- ¾ cup grated cheese
- 2 cups beef stock or water
- ¼ cup cooking or olive oil
- Sauce garlic and onions then add tomatoes, red, and green pepper then chili peppers.
- Add beef, tomato sauce, liver spread, and water or stock.
- Add salt to taste and let it simmer for at least an hour.
- Add cheese and olives then continue to simmer until the sauce thickens.