Monday, November 5, 2012

My Mother's Favorite Beef Stew

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I did not know that I have not featured this dish before. My Mom likes to call it Bakareta coined from the actual name of the original dish, Calderata. Caldereta is made with goat meat, thus, the change in the name since we are using "baka" or beef and a new yet familiar dish was born. The recipe is quite involved but I've simplified it using local ingredients and adding a few changes here and there. The most obvious is the use of small red onions which is the local variety of onion sold in the market here. Pearl onions would have been ideal but this more strongly flavored variety will be a more intensely-flavored addition to this stew. I definitely want to keep the overall flavor local so aside from oregano, the dish will be more of a Filipino beef stew in terms of flavor and a lot less Italian-inspired. I'm sure that my Mom will approve. This was one of her new faves the last time I came home for a visit when I was still living in the US and when she was still with us. This one is for you Mom! Love you always!

My Mother's Favorite Beef Stew

3 lbs beef, 1-inch dice
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
3 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups small red onions, peeled
6-8 cups beef broth
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup green peas, frozen
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thinly
salt and pepper
1 cup flour, for dredging

1. Dredge the beef pieces in the flour. Tap off the excess. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Brown the beef in 
    batches and set aside. 

3. In the same pot, brown the small red onions and set aside. Add more oil if 

4. Saute the diced onions and garlic and cook until softened. Season with salt 
    and pepper. Add the bay leaves and oregano and cook for another minute.
    Return the browned beef with the liquid and mix well. 

5. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to low and 
    simmer covered until the beef is tender. This will take about an hour to 
    two hours.

6. Add the potatoes, carrots and browned small onions and cook until the 
    vegetables are tender. 

7. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Check for flavor and adjust 
    accordingly. Simmer for another ten minutes. 

8. Add the peas and green onions and cook until bright green. Check for 
    flavor one last time and serve right away.  

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