Friday, May 13, 2005

beef caldereta

growing up, caldereta meant goat meat, thus we never had it. my ma dislikes goat, describing the taste thusly, "maanggo," which translates loosely into gamey-smelly. so we only ever had it at town fiestas, those saints' days of towns when the processions and lavish buffet meals are cooked for family and friends to enjoy.
moving away from the Mother Land meant missing those things i hardly ever used to eat. so i had to search for a recipe.
this one is culled from several sources: books, the foodsites, bloggers. one, sorry i forgot who or where, advocated for marinating first. sassy pinoy cook must be acknowledged for the chicken liver substitution in place of pork liver, and the rest to the "Filipino Homestyle Recipes" by Norma Olizon-Chikiamco. while i would have loved to use lamb instead of stewing beef cubes, no one else but me and maybe my only daughter would have it. good thing they all love this type of meaty, saucy, potato-ey "ulam" (entree) that's so luscious over hot jasmine rice.
the procedure, due to a lapse in concentration, deviates from the pinoy norm: no sauteeing of onions and tomatoes. the sauce is made separately from the beef as it tenderizes but the resulting dish was flavorful, tangy, not too spicy, not too rich (fiesta worthy?).

1 & 1/2 lbs. stewing beef, cut into chunks
1/3 cup pineapple juice or calamansi syrup
1 tbsp. maggi
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp. peppercorns, lightly pounded
1 bay leaf
marinate beef in this mixture for at least 2 hours. reserve the liquid.

3 tbsps. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
6 cups water
1 lb. chicken livers, poached, grilled, mashed *
2 spanish sausages "chorizos", thinly sliced
3/4 cup minced garlic
1 small can tomato paste
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsps. sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
4 potatoes, peeled, quartered and fried
2 medium carrots, cut into big chunks
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed (i substituted edamame, my kids don't like green peas)
1/2 cup pimiento stuffed olives
2-4 hard boiled eggs, optional

heat 2 tbsps. of the oil in a large casserole and saute the beef until evenly browned. place the beef and oil in a stockpot. add the onions and pour in the water and the marinade. bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

in a large sauce pan, heat remaining olive oil and saute the chorizos until browned, about 2 minutes. remove from the pan and set aside.
saute the garlic in the same oil until fragrant. stir in the livers, tomato paste, 1 & 1/2 cups water, tomatoes, and vinegar. let simmer 5 minutes. add the cheese, sugar, salt and pepper. mix thoroughly and simmer 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally until mixture forms a smooth sauce.
pour the liver mixture into the simmering beef in the casserole. stir to combine well and simmer for 30 minutes or until almost tender. add the potatoes and carrots and simmer until the potatoes, carrots are cooked and beef is fork tender, about 30 minutes more.
stir in the reserved chorizos, bell peppers, edamame or green peas, olives and hard-boiled eggs. serve hot with lots of rice.

*to prepare chicken livers:
boil water with thyme sprigs, peppercorns, salt, and a bay leaf. poach livers in this liquid just until firm, about 1 and a half minutes. remove to a grill pan and let cool completely. grill briefly until brown all over. let cool, then mash finely. (this is also the same way i prepare them for rumaki: wrapping in bacon slices after poaching, then skewering & grilling, watching carefully so as not to set the bacon aflame).