Puchero, sometimes called Pochero, is one of the favorite stew dishes of the Filipinos. The dish is believed to have started in Spain as a peasant dish where it is eaten for several days - first day will be eaten with rice, second day with pasta, and the leftovers will be recycled for another tomato-based dish. As Spain began exploring the world in 15th century, they took with them this kind of dish and was introduced to their colonized countries, particularly in South Latin America/Latin America (Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay) and Philippines. Puchero, in these Spanish speaking countries, is a stew of beef, sausage, bacon and various vegetables.
In the Philippines, this traditional Spanish Beef Puchero dish has evolved over the course of time to suit the Filipino taste. Filipino Puchero is cooked in several kinds of meat such as Beef, Pork, or Chicken and sometimes, the two or all three kinds of meat are combined together and stewed. However, in most cases, they are all cooked and prepared in the same way with same additional ingredients. Filipino Puchero base ingredients include chunks of meat (beef, pork, or chicken), potato, cabbage, plantain (saging na saba) which bring sweetness to the dish to balance the flavor, tomato, garlic, onion, and seasonings. Depending on personal preference, additional ingredients for variation includes tomato sauce or ketchup, chorizo de bilbao, sausage, ham, beacon, carrrot, chickpeas, green beans, bok choy, string beans, sweet potato, and corn.
In the old Spanish colonial days, Puchero is stewed in a clay pot as the name Puchero means "stewpot" in Spanish language. Today, the use of stock pot, saucepan, or casserole makes the cooking of Puchero more convenient and even more practical, pressure cooker can easily tenderize a beef meat.
- 2 lbs beef (boneless ribs or sirloin); cut into desired pieces
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 1 potato; quartered
- 1 carrot; cut in 1 inch chunks
- 1 sweet potato; cut in 1 inch chunks
- 1 small head cabbage (repolyo); quartered
- 1/4 kilo Chinese cabbage (pechay)
- 3 plantains (saging na saba); peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 onion; minced
- 4 cloves garlic; minced
- 1/4 cup fish sauce (patis)
- Cooking oil
- In a skillet, fry the plantains and potato in 3 minutes. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mash one fried plantain. Set aside.
- In a stock pot, stew the beef until tender. Strain the beef and set aside. Save the broth.
- Sauté garlic and onion in a saucepan. Add the beef and stir fry with fish sauce for 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour the broth and at first boil, add the potato, sweet potato, carrot, and the plantains.
- Let boil for 10 minutes. Add the mashed plantain and mix well.
- Add cabbage and parboil for 3 minutes.
- Add Chinese cabbage and remove from fire after 2 minutes or until the Chinese cabbage is done.
- Adding slices of chorizo bilbao will make this recipe more delicious!!!
- You can also use other kinds of meat such as pork belly or chicken as substitute for the beef or combo.