The Culinary Adventures of the New Mrs Rosero: Kalderetang Baka

Originally posted on: ‘2010-07-14 19:13:55’, ‘2010-07-14 11:13:55’
‘When I was younger, I wasn’t very fond of Filipino food. Maybe it was because there were no places like Max’s and Red Ribbon, Goldilocks and Aristocrat, Kamay Kainan and other restaurants, where our parents could bring us. Mom and Dad are awesome cooks, but there was quite a limitation to the Filipino ingredients you could acquire when we were in Riyadh. So instead they learned to make do with whatever could be found in the local markets. Mom learned to bake, and she made wonderful things: pineapple upside-down cake, prune cake, apple pie, chicken pastel. Dad made excellent tempura, and everyone loved his tempura sauce. One year, for my birthday, they stayed up till the wee hours of the morning working on my birthday cake. It had a gingerbread house made of biscuits, Smarties, cookies, wafers, and I don’t know what anymore.
So anyway, since moving back to the Philippines in 1996, my brother and I have been discovering Filipino foods and awakening in our palate a love for the cuisine of our homeland. All sorts of pancit, kakanin, inihaw, seafood, seaweed: you name it, we’ll try it. The results are not always spectacular, but we‚Äôre always willing to stuff new things in our mouths! 😀 It’s said that Kapampangans cook so well because they eat so well. Being the daughter of a Kapampangan who loved to cook, I guess I took up the spatula and the ladle as well. I started cooking when I moved to Yale in 2004, and I haven‚Äôt stopped since. Cooking Filipino foods especially the ones my brother and I love to eat has become something of a mini-quest of mine. I love nilaga and tinola, and those are some of the things I tried learning to cook. Despite protestations from Paul regarding the necessity of saging na saba in nilagang baka, I’ve heard many approving sighs and happy moans from masticating mouths when it comes to my cooking. So one day I tried caldereta, and it wasn’t half-bad! The problem now is not how to cook caldereta, but how to cook just enough of it. I seem unable to cook for two, having gotten used to cooking larger batches of food for the transients and refugees that Yale always housed. So here’s my recipe for caldereta! Ingredients listed should be good enough to serve 2 people.

  • ¬º kilo beef
  • 2 bell peppers – red and/or green, chopped in squares
  • 1 small carrot – peeled and chopped
  • 1 piece chorizo – chopped and saut√©ed in olive oil with chopped garlic and onions till brown
  • green olives – optional, they add a salty flavor
  • 1 small can liver spread – use only half, otherwise the sauce will be too thick
  • 3-5 medium sized potatoes – or you can use 1/4 kilo baby potatoes so you don’t need to chop
  • 1 pack tomato sauce

Procedure:
1. Put beef in pot, fill with just enough water to cover meat. Boil over medium heat to tenderize. Once water is boiling, reduce heat. If you want to reduce fat, throw out water after boiling and add fresh water, then boil again. You’ll know the beef is tender enough when you can cut it easily with a spoon and a fork.
2. Once beef is ready, add potatoes and carrots to broth. Let it simmer till potatoes and carrots are tender.
3. Add tomato sauce, chorizo (with garlic and onions) and liver spread. Season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer, stir occasionally.
4. Once flavor is to your liking, add the olives. You can add the peppers just before serving if you want them crunchy, or let them simmer if you want them soft.’

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