Beef Caldereta is simmered to tenderness in a spicy tomato sauce. Chockfull of potatoes, bell peppers, and green olives, this classic Filipino stew is hearty, tasty, and perfect for family dinners or special occasions.
What is Caldereta?
Calderata, which comes from the word caldera, meaning cauldron, is another example of the many Spanish influences in Filipino cuisine. While similar to afritada and mechado in preparation and use of tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers, this hearty beef stew also includes liver spread and shredded cheese to thicken the sauce and chili peppers to add spice.
Kaldereta is traditionally made of goat meat and is usually prepared for holidays and special occasions. It’s commonly served in parties and get-togethers as an appetizer (pulutan) to accompany beer or hard drinks. Over the years, however, the dish has evolved into a regular dinner fixture, using more accessible meats such as pork, chicken, and beef.
What Cuts of Beef to Use for Kalderetang Baka?
For best results, use tough, leaner cuts from the front shoulder or the rear muscle, which don’t have a lot of fat but plenty of collagen-rich connective tissues.
I like bottom round for kalderata and other braised dishes, but chuck, bottom eye, and rump roasts are excellent choices. Not only are these meat cheaper, but they also break down into melt-in-your-mouth, richly-flavored bites over the low and slow cooking process.
Although most supermarkets sell already cut “beef stew” meat, I prefer to buy the whole roast and cut it myself. The packaged beef stew meat is usually made up of scraps from various cuts of beef and might cook quite differently.