This slow-cooked beef stew from the 7000 Islands cookbook might just replace your go-to casserole recipe as your new favourite beef dish. With Spanish influences of tomatoes and olives combined with Asian flavours of fish sauce and rice vinegar, the beef is cooked slowly so it’s fork tender, making it a great dish to serve family-style or for a party.
Kaldereta is a mainstay on my mother’s party menu. As with all stews, it improves with time: slow cooking tenderises the tough meat and develops the rich sauce. Its flavours are further enhanced if served the next day. Look for liver spread in Asian grocery stores or liverwurst at supermarkets.
60 ml vegetable oil
600 g beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 4 cm pieces
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 onions, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated puree)
400 g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons cane or rice vinegar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons fish sauce
625 ml beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into 2.5 cm strips
1 green capsicum, seeded and cut into 2.5 cm strips
90 g green olives
2 long green chillies, whole or thinly sliced
50 g liver spread or liverwurst, chopped
steamed rice, to serve
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium–high heat. Add half of the beef and cook for 4 minutes, turning until browned all over. Transfer to a plate and repeat with another 1 tablespoon of oil and the remaining beef.
2. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the cleaned pan over medium heat and cook the garlic and onion for 5 minutes, stirring until soft. Add the tomato paste, stir for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, vinegar, fish sauce, stock and bay leaf and season with freshly cracked black pepper. Return the beef to the pan and stir to combine (it should be just submerged in liquid; add a little extra stock or water if necessary). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the capsicum and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until they have softened and the beef is tender and breaks apart easily with a fork. Add the olives and chillies and cook for 2 minutes, or until warmed through. Add the liver spread and stir until well combined. Season with salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste, and serve with steamed rice.
Where does it come from?
With its Iberian flavours of tomato, onion and olive, kaldereta (also caldereta) is easily identified to have Spanish roots. Its name is also derived from the Spanish ‘caldero’, a type of cooking pot. Over time, Filipinos put their stamp on the dish by adding liver to thicken and enrich the sauce; now, tinned liver spread or grated edam cheese (queso de bola) are commonly substituted.