Holiday Recipe Exchange 2011: Beef Kaldereta

Filipinos love saucy one-pot dishes. When I was growing up, I didn't like my food "wet." I liked my food dry. My Mom or our household help would always prepare fried pork, chicken, beef, anything just to make me eat. 

If the food served doesn't look familiar to me, I refuse to eat it. My Dad always tells me to try before judging. He was right.

One day, he had me try Osso Bucco for the first time. I was a bit skeptical. I didn't know what it was. But when I had my first bite, oh my goodness, it was good.

When I was in my teens, I learned to appreciate food -- real food. I quickly learned that frying is not the only way to cook food.

This week's Holiday Recipe Exchange theme is "Fall One Pot Dishes" sponsored by Le Creuset. All I could think of was "It's gotta be saucy!" And there was only one dish that came to mind: Beef Kaldereta.

Kaldereta is a classic Filipino dish. It's basically stewed meat (beef, pork, chicken -- whatever your preference is) with spicy tomato sauce. The recipe varies depending on who cooks the dish. For a quick fix, there are one-pack mixes -- just dilute the mix in water, saute your choice of meat with garlic, onion, and tomatoes, add the mix and let the sauce simmer. But then that won't be the same kaldereta.

I gotta have the real thing.


Beef Kaldereta  
1/2 kl beef brisket, cut into chunks
1/2 cup onions, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 medium tomatoes, cubed
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 medium carrots, cut into circles
a handful of olives*
1/2 cup frozen peas*
2-3 pieces bird's eye chili
1/4 cup liver spread (alternatively, you can use mashed boiled chicken liver or liver pate)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1-2 cups beef broth or water
3-4 tbsps oil
Salt and pepper, to taste 
Wash beef and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot on low-medium heat and add oil. Once oil is smoking, sauté onions until softened, then add the garlic. Once garlic is browned, add tomatoes. Let simmer for 1 minute, then add the beef. Once beef is browned, mix in liver spread and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Add the chili (you can roughly chop them, remove the seeds to lessen the spiciness).  
Let the beef simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until fork tender. To keep the sauce from drying up, add a few tablespoons of water or broth.

Once the beef is tender, add the rest of the vegetables except the olives. Let simmer for another 15 minutes, add the olives in the last 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Serve with steamed white rice.

Serves 4.
* Most recipes call for olives and green peas… Well, what do you know, I forgot to grab some when I did my grocery shopping. Silly me.

Come join the fun at My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Exchange sponsored by Le Creuset.


  1. Oooh I love the fact that this is saucy and spicy - it sounds just perfect! Thanks so much for entering this One Pot Meal in the Holiday Recipe Exchange!

  2. Thanks, Jamie!

    I'm glad I joined this year's Holiday Recipe Exchange. Thanks for hosting! :D