You can find beef stew in most places around the world! The most notable of these may be the boeuf bourguignon of France, a rich beef stew simmered in red wine.
We have our own beef stew, too. The kaldereta, while originally is a goat meat recipe, can be applied to any meat. The fact that goat meat was the original meat used is a boon since goat meat is notoriously tough without being tenderized first. Plus, all the ingredients that go into the dish is meant to reduce the gaminess of the meat.
Need more tips on how to make your beef kaldereta recipe the best one you can make? Here are the tips you need to know:
1 Use affordable beef cuts.
These beef cuts, which are probably the more affordable cuts in the chiller, might the tougher cuts but these will also be the most flavorful ones.
Try the kadera or chuck or the meaty but stringy brisket or the kalitiran. You can even get the chunks with bones in it, usually from the neck or the tagiliran or tadyang (short ribs) area where you get some great meaty cubes with the rib bones, since these will also create more flavor as it simmers and tenderizes the meat during the long cooking process. Just make sure that the chunks are moderately the same size so even cooking isn’t a problem.
2 Marinate the beef.
There is a belief that you should marinate the meat in some toyo or soy sauce and calamansi juice before cooking it. This is a great way to add even more flavor to the dish! Just like other meat recipes which uses calamansi juice as a marinade ingredient, the acid in the citrus juice will help break down the connective tissue even before you start cooking. This will help in cutting the cooking time as well as adding additional flavor to the dish.
3 Sear the beef.
Whether you marinate the meat or not, searing the beef will definitely add fantastic flavor to the dish. To do this right, blot off as much moisture as possible from the surface of the meat before placing it in hot oil in a pot over medium heat. Then you need to wait until the pot itself releases the beef cubes so you can turn each piece over to sear the other sides. The browned bits on the bottom of the pot will be the first part of the flavor that you’re creating to build the overall flavor of your beef stew.
You may need to do this in batches but once all the beef are seared, you are ready to move on to the rest of the recipe.
4 Add other flavorful ingredients.
There are many variations to the kaldereta recipe, so not all of them taste the same. What is the same is that there are additional flavorful ingredients that can be added to make it even tastier.
One of the most classic additions to the kaldereta is to add a can of liver spread to the mix to not only thicken the sauce, but also add its grainy creaminess. Another classic addition is olives that give the dish a burst of its briny flavor. Other use peanut butter for creaminess which also adds a little nuttiness to the dish. Others may want some sweetness to the dish and use sweetened pickle relish instead of sugar. Others may not want the creaminess to come from the liver spread and instead stir in grated cheese to not only make it creamy but also cheesy.
5 To bring out the oil, cook it long and slow.
Those who love beef chunks to be fork tender and almost disintegrating into shreds know that simmering the beef in the tomato sauce is necessary to tenderize the beef. Cooking it long and slow not only will break down those fibers that hold the beef meat tightly together but it will also allow the beef fats to be rendered out.
For those who want their kaldereta to “mag-mantika”, this is the process that will extract those fats from the beef. However, this will only happen if you choose beef cuts that have fats in it. That’s why the beef cut is important to take note of for those who want their beef kaldereta to bring out the oil. You can still achieve this if you add more oil to the pot when you sear the beef chunks and simmer down the sauce until it has thickened to be almost a paste in its consistency.
These beef stew cooking tips should get you excited to make a hearty meal!