Everything You Need To Know About Making Beef Pares

This braised beef stew recipe is simple yet tasty!

IMAGE Riell Santos

What is it about beef pares that makes this bowl of tender chunks of beef so satisfying? 

It must be the super tender chunks of beef swimming in a sweet-savory liquid that's more soup than sauce. The aromatics of this braised beef stew is simple, too. Soy sauce and star anise are other the main ingredients that enhance the flavors of every spoonful you eat. 

Many people look for beef pares in the early morning hours at a local roadside karinderia, but that's not to say it won't be just as delightful when it's eaten for dinner or even lunch. This Filipino braised beef stew recipe is really one of the simplest yet most flavorful ways of cook beef. Here are cooking tips you need to know to make it at home: 

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Photo by Unsplash/Iñigo De la Maza
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1 Choose your beef cut. 

One of the great things about stews is that the kind of cut you want to use doesn't have to be the prime cuts. While using the sirloin is the best cut for this stew, you can get away with getting the toughest, most inexpensive beef cut from your butcher and your beef pares dish will still result in a delicious dish. In fact, it may be even more delicious because the toughest cuts are also the most flavorful cuts of the steer. 

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Since you're going to need to chop the beef into small cuts and then tenderize it, the kind of cut you choose doesn't have to be the choice cut. 

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2 Cut the beef into small chunks. 

When it comes to the beef pares, it's best to cut the beef into small chunks. Not only will these chunks be easier and faster to tenderize, but it will also be more manageable when it's time to dish out into bowls. 

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3 Sear the beef. 

When it comes to flavor, nothing beats a good sear. Those browned bits you find stuck at the bottom of the pot when you allow the beef to sear is what gives your beef pares even more flavor than what you put into the pot. 

To give beef a good sear, you have to allow the beef to just cook. Let each chunk sit in the hot oil and it will stick at first but it will release itself from the bottom of the pot when ready. The beef will tell you when to mix. Until then, keep the heat on medium-high until each piece becomes unstuck. 

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4 Season it right. 

If there is one ingredient that is important to beef pares, it's the soy sauce and the star anise. The soy sauce gives this dish its savory and salty taste but the star anise gives it that distinct flavor. This warm spice that's a mix of cinnamon, cloves, and licorice is pungent and powerful so just a few will do. Add it in before you're ready to simmer the beef so it can infuse the beef as well as the sauce for that perfectly delicious sip.

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5 Use a pressure cooker.

This is an optional step but highly recommended because of its speed: use a pressure cooker. This handy specialized pot will make anything more tender in less time. In fact, it will cut your time in half! You can do so many things with this pot, but for any beef dish, including the beef pares, you'll marvel at the sheer speed your beef will emerge from the pot as tender as if it were simmering for hours instead of just one. 

    

5 Top it with crispy garlic bits.

Once your beef is tender and flavorful, time to serve! To serve it, you can't go wrong with a handful of chopped green onions to bright up the beef but to give it more texture as well as a fabulous flavor, toasted garlic can make your beef pares even more appetizing. Serve it with garlic rice to really drive in the fact that you love garlic.  

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You can't go wrong with this beef stew! While these tips will make a fabulous beef pares dish, the best way to make beef pares is really when you have the time to let it slow cook and become super flavorful. Make the time to do it right, and you'll be rewarded with a flavorful bowl that hits all the right spots when hunger strikes whether it be day or night.        

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!

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