Originally, during the Spanish colonial period, when you say "Caldereta" or "Kaldereta", what immediately comes to mind is "goat meat" stewed in tomato sauce and spices. Indeed it is, because I believe that "Caldereta" or "Kaldereta" was derived from the Ilocano word "Kalding", which literally means goat, and Spanish word "caldera", which means cauldron or large metal pot. "Caldereta" or "Kaldereta", in a more definitive term, is a stewed "goat meat" in tomato sauce and spices using a cauldron or large metal pot. There is a popular idea that "Caldereta" or "Kaldereta" was derived from the Spanish word "caldera" alone. I am skeptical about the idea because I find it hard to correlate this single word "caldera" or "cauldron" to mean "goat meat" stewed in a "metal pot".
Anyway Goat Caldereta, also called Kalderetang Kambing, is by influence Spanish. This dish, with a touch of Filipino flair, was adapted from the Spaniards when they colonized the Philippines for more than three centuries. Though the dish origin was Spanish, our collective ancestors have modified it to suit the Filipino palates. It's the Ilocanos who are fond of cooking goat meat. Sure they know what are the best methods of preparing goat meat. Dishes like kaldereta, papaitan, kalawin, adobo nga kalding, inalseman (cook in sour soup), and many other delicious goat dishes originate from them. Goat dishes are popular among the Ilocanos, commonly served on special occasions like town fiestas and birthday parties. It is also good when served as appetizer and finger food (pulutan, food the goes well when drinking beer or liquor).
When cooking goat meat, there are challenges that you may encounter. First, you may find that the meat is very tough, especially when a goat is very old. Choose, therefore, a goat meat intended for cooking, usually 'cabrito' and 'chevon' are ideal for Kaldereta. Cabrito or Capretto is a goat between 4 to 8 weeks of age where meat is tender, juicy, lean and tasty. Chevon is a goat between 6 to 9 months of age where meat is not as juicy and tender as the cabrito but, still, is ideal for the dish. For a goat more than 9 months, the meat needs to be tenderized using a pressure cooker. Second, you may find that the meat has a strong unpleasant odor (anggo or dangro), especially goat meats in some regions in America. One of the techniques used in Spain and other European counties to reduce the odor is by marinating the meat in vinegar for few hours. After which, they parboil the meat, including the marinade, and then discard the liquid. However, not all goat meat have this kind of odor. In the Philippines where I've tasted almost all the goat dishes of the Ilocanos, never I experienced this strong unpleasant odor. What I had is a distinct flavor and aroma of a delicious goat Ilocano dishes.
Personally, when cooking Kalderetang Kambing, I would like to stick to the Ilocano style because it's simpler and more original in terms of ingredients. They use the riblets and shank of goat because these cuts are best for goat stewing. They stew the meat from medium to medium low heat in order for the meat to have a more tender, flavorful, and juicy outcome. Common ingredients includes goat meat, onion and garlic, tomato sauce, potato, carrots, cheese, cornstarch, pineapple chunks, and spices. There are different ways on how to cook goat Kaldereta and when prepared properly and with patience, you and your love ones, fo sure, will enjoy a delicious fine goat meal.
- 2 lbs goat meat; cut in serving pieces
- 3 cloves garlic; minced
- 1 medium onion; chopped
- 1 potato; quartered
- 1 carrot; cut in slices
- 1 can pineapple (8 oz)
- 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
- 1/4 cup grated cheese
- 1 red bell pepper; sliced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (dissolve in 1/4 cup water)
- 3 pcs bay leaves
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 2 cups water
- Salt and pepper taste
- Cooking oil
Optional Ingredients and Variations
- 1 can liver spread (85 grams)
- 1 tomato; cut in slices
- 1 tablespoon green peas
- 3 pieces chili peppers
- 1 tablespoon pickles
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 10 green olives
- Soy sauce
- Marinate meat in vinegar, salt and pepper for at least one hour. Set aside.
- Open pineaaple can and separate juice from the chunks. Save the juice for later use.
- Fry the potato and carrot for 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Sauté garlic and onion, and then add the marinated goat.
- Stir fry meat until color turns light brown.
- Pour the tomato sauce and pineapple juice and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Pour water and stew the meat until it becomes tender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Simmer, stirring once in a while, until dish is cooked.