Beef Pares Recipe
What is Beef Pares?
Beef pares, which can also be referred to as simply pares, is a Filipino ulam dish that is made by braising beef in a soy-based sauce, flavored with ginger, onions, and garlic. It is popularly served in pares houses or roadside restaurants that specialize in pares. It is famous not only for its flavor but also for the hearty serving size you can usually get for an affordable price.
If you are craving this filling braised beef dish, you can also enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. Because of its no-fuss preparations, it's a great dish to make if you're looking for easy Filipino beef recipes!
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How to Serve Beef Pares
One of the most arguably defining characteristics of Filipino food is that they are usually best served with rice, and beef pares is a great example of this. Beef pares is best served with garlic fried rice and a flavorful beef broth soup on the side, but it can also be eaten with plain cooked rice.
How to Cook Beef Pares
Aside from its flavor, what makes beef pares stand out is the melt-in-the-mouth quality of the beef. To start, saute the garlic, ginger, and onions until they have browned. Then, stir in the beef. Saute until the beef has browned as well, then add enough water to cover the beef. Add the soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and star anise as well. You can also infuse more flavor with beef cubes. Let it simmer until the meat is tender.
Garnish with toasted garlic bits and chopped spring onions, and serve warm with garlic fried rice and beef broth.
How to Make the Best Beef Pares
1 Choose your beef cut wisely.
Beef pares is a no-frills Filipino dish, which means that the beef is well and truly the star of the show. Make sure to get beef brisket with even marbling; the fat in the meat cut not only gives the sauce more flavor; it also ensures that the tenderized beef has a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
2 There is more than one way to tenderize the beef.
The most traditional way to achieve this is by simmering the beef brisket in a pot over low heat until the meat is tender, like the recipe below. But depending on your preference or schedule, there are other ways to braise the beef.
If you are in a hurry, you can use a pressure cooker to tenderize the beef. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes; just be careful when you release the steam! If you want a set-it-and-forget-it option, you could also braise the beef in a slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours. Make sure you time it just right so you can serve it for lunch or dinner!
Whichever method you choose, braising the meat slowly not only tenderizes the beef but also infuses the stew with a strong beef taste, loaded with the unique flavors created from the mixture of soy sauce, sugar, star anise, garlic, and ginger.
3 Another way to speed up the braising time is by cutting the beef into smaller chunks.
The bigger the beef chunks, the longer the beef will take to soften! Traditionally, the brisket for beef pares is cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces, but if you want them to tenderize faster, cutting them into smaller, 1 to 1.5-inch pieces can speed up the process.
How to Store Beef Pares
1 Refrigerate beef pares in an airtight container.
Beef pares keeps well in the refrigerator, and will still taste delicious when reheated. It will keep well for up to 4 days; if you are keeping past this time, make sure to check that it hasn't spoiled before consuming.
2 For longer storage, you can freeze beef pares.
If you're making a really big batch and are certain you won't be able to finish your beef pares within 4 days, it's best to freeze it! Beef pares freezes well, and it can stay in the freezer indefinitely. For a no-fuss meal, you can also divide the pares into your preferred portions in air-tight, freezer-friendly containers and simply defrost and reheat when you're ready to serve it.