Easy Tweaks To Your Caldereta To Make It Even Tastier
We have ideas on how to make that classic Pinoy stew more delicious.
The caldereta, or kaldereta, is a favorite because it's like the pork adobo recipe of the beef recipe world. The longer it lasts, the better, the more flavorful the caldereta becomes.
There are at least five ways to make your classic caldereta recipe tastier, more delicious than it already is. Just a warning: You'll need to be ready with bowls of unli rice when you're done!
1 Make it cheesy.
You can benefit, flavor-wise, by stirring in a melty cheese into your caldereta. Here is why cheese in caldereta is a fantastic and delicious idea:
Choose a cheese that melts.
Cheese that melts will not only add its salty, umami flavor into the flavorful tomato sauce, but it will also transform it into a creamy, somewhat milky sauce that you will definitely want your rice to soak up. Mozzarella and other such cheeses will just melt into undesirable globs of goo in your stew, so reserve these for your baked dishes and lasagna recipes instead.
Budget-friendly quick melting cheese is perfect.
You don't need to break the bank to figure out what type of cheese to add to your caldereta! Grab the processed cheese and it will be delicious. There's no need to get too fancy but if you have it, a little sharp cheddar or even some soft cream cheese would go wonderfully with the tomato sauce.
Use the cheese as the salt.
Cheese is naturally salty, so if you're going to be adding a lot of cheese to your caldereta, choose to be on the safe side. Add salt later or better yet, add it very lightly until after you've stirred in the cheese so you can control just how salty your caldereta gets.
2 Thicken it up.
Liver spread is said to be an essential ingredient in caldereta. However, not all recipes use liver spread in their recipes. This little omission doesn't detract from the fact that it's still a delicious beef stew recipe even without this ingredient.
While this is a great ingredient to use that will thicken up your caldereta's sauce and add a meaty flavor, it's not necessary to add if you don't like its flavor. We think it's hardly noticeable in the final dish so we say, add it in when you want to add a wonderfully creamy and definitely meaty flavor to your dish.
3 Make it briny.
Add olives. In fact, you may want to add some capers and pearl onions in there, too. The salty, vinegar tang from these brined and pickled vegetables are perfect additions to the caldereta. The little bit of tangy vinegar from the capers or the olives when you add it in are a sour element that will complement the tomatoes' tang. The olives and capers themselves will give your caldereta a delicious flavor that will remind you that this dish really was derived from the Spanish beef stew.
To give it a Chinese touch, think briny black beans which have been rinsed well for a salinity that's uncommon and more umami-packed. Any of these ideas should give your caldereta a delicious but different and subtle flavor that you might actually like.
4 Add other veggies.
Potatoes and carrots are not the only vegetables on the market. There are so many vegetables that would go wonderfully in caldereta! Take a look through the frozen food section and the canned vegetable section of your local supermarket for some ideas. Off the top of our heads, think corn (either chunks from the cob or the sweet kernels from a can will do), green peas, chickpeas or garbanzos, and the florets from the cauliflower and broccoli to name a few.
5 Stir in some cream.
Most caldereta recipes are not meant to be creamy dishes. There are other dishes that wouldn't be made better with cream, but the caldereta would be one of those exceptions. That's because of the tomatoes. All-purpose cream (or any milky product for that matter) is especially delicious when stirred with tomato sauce and in this case, the tomato sauce has been infused with amazing flavors already that adding in the cream will just make it more decadent to anyone eating it.
If you're skeptical, try stirring a small spoonful of all-purpose cream into a small bowl with some caldereta and see how it transforms the flavor and texture of your beef stew.
6 Transform it.
What do you do with those small amounts of leftovers? For the caldereta, we have a few ideas and each is an exciting new way to enjoy it.
While we're stumped why you would ever have leftover caldereta, we know at least three ways to use any leftover beef and sauce from the beef stew into a new dish. Here we go:
Stuff it into a dumpling.
You don't need a lot of filling to fill a dumpling wrapper. In fact, you don't have to use the entire pack of wrappers. That's why this is a genius way to use leftover meats! Just shred the beef, chop up the veggies small, and stir it all into the leftover sauce. (Make sure it's not too watery or else the dumpling will be too soft.) Then spoon about 1 tablespoon into a large wonton wrapper and close. Repeat until you don't have any beef to use as filling. Fry these with a little oil and water in a nonstick pan, covered, and enjoy once cooked! Instant gyoza!
Stir into pasta.
What's wonderful with caldereta is that it's already really, really flavorful. So, can you imagine just how delicious a pasta sauce and the pasta itself would become with this flavorful beef in it? We can and it's making us hungry.
Shred and top tacos with it.
Another way to serve leftover caldereta is on top of soft tacos. This is a particularly great idea if you have a lot of leftover beef left. It's a simple act of just assembling the shredded beef, toasted tortillas, and any vegetables you want to add to your taco. Easy taco filling!
Caldereta is a fan and family favorite for good reason: it's beefy, it's flavorful, it's hearty, and best of all, it's a pleasure to eat especially with a big mound of rice which will soak up any sauce that's not spooned right into your mouth.