02 November 2007

Frugal Foodie: Spicy Beef Caldereta

Not too long ago, I called up my mom and said, "I have a bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes, and some onions. What can I make?". My mom answers, "Caldereta." Ahh, perfect for the Frugal Foodie! This Filipino beef stew w/ a spicy tomato sauce can use cheap cuts of tough meat (I bought a specific "cubed beef for stew"), minimal ingredients, and the outcome is a very hearty, flavorful dish. Ingredient quantities are rough estimates, as Filipino cooking is an imprecise art, and there are many variations of this. Some like to put olives, raisins, and who knows what else. I improvised on my mom's recipe by spicing this up with chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. It adds a nice smoky kick. No recipe is sacred, IMHO, so feel free to do what you want with the basic idea!

Spicy Beef Caldereta
up to 1 lb. cubed beef appropriate for stewing
soy sauce
chopped garlic
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1-2 carrots, slices in 1/2'' discs
1-2 potatoes, roughly chopped (any kind is fine, though I prefer the starchy kind for this)
1/4-1/2 c. tomato sauce
1 chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (plus 1 T. of the sauce)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper for seasoning
Cooking oil

1. Marinate beef in soy sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper (at least 1 hour, at most overnight for safety).

2. Prep all ingredients.

3. Brown beef cubes in oil. Add onions. Once onions are are softened, and sautee bell peppers and carrots. Add tomato, tomato sauce, chipotle pepper/adobo sauce, bay leaf. Cover and let simmer on low until all ingredients are tender (depending on the cut of beef used, ~45 min-1.5 hours).

4. This step is optional, but it prevents having potatoes that are too soft and fall apart. You can also add the potatoes in w/ the rest of the veggies if you like yours that way. While the beef and veggies are simmering, fry the potatoes. These should be added in with the rest near the end of the simmering (when I took these pics, I fried the potatoes before I had prepped the other veggies and then added them a little too early...eh, it's not a precise science, remember?).

5. You know it's done when the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened up. Serve with white rice. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Arnold said...

Nice! Spicy Kaldereta is my favorite.