Beef & Liver Stew with Olives and tomatoes
What is Kaldereta or Caldereta
Kaldereta’s also known as Caldereta name is derived from the Spanish word caldera meaning cauldron. This dish is one of those dishes that was brought to the Philippines during the Spanish colonisation. The origin is not confirmed but I think it might be from Mexico because potatoes, bell peppers and chillies were brought from Mexico to the Philippines. Through the Manila – Acapulco route trade, I could be wrong, Philippine cuisine is still finding its roots and making our mark in the world.
The name came from the word Caldera or Cauldron in Tagalog Kaldero. It’s the cooking vessel it’s stewed in. Kaldereta is usually cooked with goat meat but it’s not easily accessible to me so beef is the best option. It’s also cooked with liver and tomato sauce. Chillies are optional but some like it spicy, some like this dish mild and some don’t like the heat at all. Although most Filipinos are not keen on chillies they make an exception with this dish. Kaldereta is normally served on special occasions but you don’t have to wait for that! HAHA!
Let’s talk about ingredients
There are many variations to Kaldereta, many households have their own ‘secret’ ingredient and their own twist to this dish. My recipe is the very basic of Kaldereta and most if the ingredients are easily accessible.
Tinned tomatoes – I used tinned tomatoes for eas but if you prepfer you can use fresh tomatoes too. For this recipe, you will need about 10 plum tomatoes.
Tomato Paste – This is important part of my recipe, I really think this brings a lot of depth in flavours
Chilli – It’s optional, if you like a little spice add one but if you prefer it more spicy add as many as you like.
Soy Sauce – I use this instead of fish sauce (other recipes use fish sauce) because my family are not keen on fish sauce but you can use fish sauce if you like.
Olives – these are also optional, I think these are a modern addition to the dish. You can add them if you like them. I think these makes it an interesting dish overall.
Liver Paste or Pate – For me, I use what is available to me. Sometimes I use pate or paste and sometimes I’m using fresh chicken livers. It also depends on who I’m feeding.
Beef – In this recipe I used beef flank but you can use brasing beef or beef ribs. All are amazing to stew.
In a large pot heat some oil, cook potatoes until the edges turns brown. Take the potatoes out and leave them on the side for later. Add the beef into the pot, cook until the meat turns pale in colour, then add onion and garlic. Saute them for 5 minutes.
Add tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes, next add the chopped tomatoes and water. Turn the heat up and bring it to a boil. Once boiling turn the heat down to low, add salt, black pepper, soy sauce, liver paste and simmer for 1 and 30 minutes or until the meat is soft, cover it with the lid.
*If you’re using a pressure cooker you only need to cook it for 30 minutes without needing to boil it first. You can season your kaldereta here too. **Before you take the lid off the pressure cooker please be careful and let it cool down first. I usually fill the sink with cold water and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the steam is gone before I take the lid off and continue cooking.* You can add the vegetables after this stage so they don’t over cook.
Once simmered, add carrots and cook for 10 minutes. Next, add both bell peppers, peas, chilies and olives. Let continue to simmer for another 8-10 minutes with the lid on. Turn off the heat, now, it’s ready to be served in a bowl. Kaldereta is best served warm with some jasmine rice.