How to Make Beef Kare-Kare in Less than 2 Hours

3:10 AM

I have a secret to share: Cooking Filipino food is my weakness.

It's not that I don't appreciate our local cuisine, but because so many people I know are experts at it, I'd rather sit back and do all the eating. Last month, I found an excuse to re-live an old favorite. This was my entry for a competition in World Nomads, me and my dad's version of Kare-Kare. While the recipe has been tried and tested, I haven't attempted to make this dish for years--I don't know, it just didn't feel right making it without my partner.

I am sharing this recipe today, in hopes of giving you a good weekend idea if you want to impress someone or just plain "want to reward yourself for surviving the week". The traditional Kare-Kare takes more than a day to prepare. I HATE cleaning ox tripe so don't expect that in this post. Your total prep time and cooking time would be less than two hours. This recipe will serve about 4 normal people or 2 hungry hippos.

You'll need:

500 grams beef brisket, cut into small cubes
5 cups beef stock
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, chopped
200 grams Pechay, trimmed
200 grams string beans, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
2 small banana blossoms, cut into ½ inch logs
4 tbsp ground peanuts/unsweetened peanut butter
2 tsp annatto seeds
2 tbsp canola oil/neutral oil
2 tbsp cornstarch/potato starch (as thickener)
1 chili labuyo, chopped
1 tbsp granulated sugar (omit if using peanut butter)
Sautéed shrimp paste, as a condiment
Sliced green mangoes (optional)

S**@, how does this work again?

The method:

  • Wipe off excess moisture from beef before lightly seasoning with salt and pepper. 
  • Using canola oil or any other neutral oil, pan fry on high heat until brown

  • Add beef stock and simmer for about an hour on low heat. Skim and discard the foam on top of your broth as it begins to boil. Continue to do this until your broth is clear.
  • Once your broth is clear, add garlic, onion and chili
  • Steep annatto seeds in ½ cup of boiling water for 20 minutes or until your liquid takes on a bright red-orange hue
  • Prepare vegetables: Cut banana blossoms into ½ inch thick logs and submerge in water to prevent browning. String beans and cut to 1 ½ inch thick pieces. Trim edges of Pechay

 If you cook the veggies separate from the beef, it keeps better for longer AND it looks prettier.
  • Blanch vegetables until cooked. The banana blossoms will take about 5 minutes, 2 minutes for the string beans and 1 minute for the Pechay. Drain and set aside

  • Dissolve ground peanuts using some of the beef broth. When free of lumps, add to the stew
  • Dissolve 2 tbsp of cornstarch or potato starch using the same broth. Add to thicken stew
  • Strain annatto seed infusion and pour the liquid into your broth. It should now take on a yellow orange color
  • Add 1 tbsp sugar to bring the flavors together
  • Season with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the sautéed shrimp paste will bring a lot of saltiness to the dish

  • Pour over rice and top with blanched vegetables
  • Serve with sautéed shrimp paste and green mangoes

I hate writing about food. It makes me hungry. Now, I have to go eat.

My old man hates it when I play with my food. Meheheheh

Now, I'm just playing with my food. XD 

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