Filipino Beef Caldereta Recipe

Beef Caldereta, also called Kalderetang Baka, is a beef stew in tomato sauce and other spices. This dish is a variation of the original "Caldereta" or "Kaldereta" dish that uses goat as its meat ingredient. Too little is known about the history of this dish. Aside that the dish is Spanish by influence, Beef Kaldereta is also very popular in the Southern Tagalog regions in the Phililippines where cattle farming is prominent. I can only speculate that there was once a time when the folks of Southern Tagalog tasted that the Kalderetang Kambing of the Ilocanos was good, so they made their own version of Kaldereta which is the Kalderetang Baka.

Cooking Beef Caldereta is a little bit of a challenge because of the toughness of the beef. However, the natives of Sothern Tagalog have found ways and cooking methods on how to squarely face the challenge. One of the ways is to choose the right tender cuts of the beef that is ideal for stewing such as tenderloin, sirloin, chuck roast, and eye of round. The other method is by stewing the beef meat in medium to medium low heat for long hours until it becomes tender and moist. Another technique, of course, is by using a pressure cooker - not only will it save you time but effort as well.

There are many versions of the Kalderetang Baka recipe that varies from one region to region, from household to household, and from one person to another. Nevertheless, if the dish is prepared carefully and cooked with patience, you will end up with a delicious fine stewed beef meal!

Beef Caldereta Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef; cut in serving pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 onion; chopped
  • 1 potato; quartered
  • 1 medium sized carrot; sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper; sliced
  • 1 can pineapple (8 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 can liver spread (85 grams)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 pcs bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil

Optional Ingredients and Variations

  • 10 green olives (stoned or pitted)
  • 1/4 cup sweet peas
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup San Miguel Beer
  • 2 tablespoons Ginebra San Miguel gin
  • Soy sauce

Beef Caldereta Cooking Instructions

  1. Open the can of pineapple and separate juice from chunks. Save juice for later use.
  2. Fry potato and carrot until light brown. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, sauté garlic and onion.
  4. Add beef and stir fry until color turns light brown.
  5. Pour tomato sauce and pineapple juice. Stew for 3 minutes.
  6. Pour water and stew the beef until tender.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until dish is done.
  8. Balance seasoning with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve and enjoy!