What is Filipino caldereta?
Filipino Caldereta, also known as “Kaldereta,” is a popular Filipino stew traditionally made with goat meat, but it can also be prepared with beef, chicken, or pork.
The dish is characterised by its rich and thick tomato-based sauce, which is further enriched with liver spread or liver pâté, giving it a distinct flavour. Caldereta is typically cooked with vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers, and often includes green olives and hot peppers for added depth and spiciness.
Caldereta originates from the culinary influences of Spain during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, which lasted from 1521 to 1898.
Over time, the dish has evolved and has been adapted to suit Filipino tastes, making it one of the most beloved and well-known dishes in the country.
While it is now popular throughout the Philippines, it is particularly associated with the northern region of Luzon, specifically the provinces of Pampanga and Ilocos. These provinces are known for their rich culinary traditions, and caldereta is a cherished dish often served during special occasions and family gatherings.
How to Make Caldereta
- 1 lb beef chuck, cut into 1.5-inch cubes
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup calamansi or lemon juice
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
- ⅓ cup tomato sauce
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 small green bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1 medium carrot, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
- ¼ cup green olives, pitted
- 2 small bird’s eye chilies (siling labuyo), finely chopped (adjust to desired spiciness)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup liver spread or liver pâté
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup grated cheese (optional)
- Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnishing
- Marinate the beef: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the beef cubes with soy sauce and calamansi or lemon juice. Mix well, ensuring the beef is well coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the marinated beef to the pot, reserving the marinade. Cook the beef for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is browned on all sides.
- Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they soften.
- Pour in the tomato sauce, reserved marinade, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add bay leaves, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until the beef is tender.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, red and green bell peppers, green olives, and bird’s eye chilies. Cook for another 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the liver spread or liver pâté, mixing well to combine. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- (Optional) Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the caldereta and cover the pot for a minute or two to let the cheese melt.
- Remove the pot from heat, discard the bay leaves, and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley. Serve the spicy Filipino caldereta hot with steamed white rice or garlic fried rice. Enjoy!
Calling all culinary adventurers! If you haven’t tried making Pork Caldereta yet, now is the time to embark on a flavorful journey. This classic Filipino dish offers a canvas for you to unleash your creativity and put your own unique spin on the recipe.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients, spices, or cooking techniques to personalise it to your taste. Add an extra kick of heat with chilli peppers, incorporate your favourite vegetables for added freshness, or even try substituting the pork with chicken or beef. The possibilities are endless! Embrace the joy of culinary exploration and make this Pork Caldereta your own masterpiece.
Surprise your taste buds and delight your loved ones with a dish that carries your distinctive touch. So grab your apron, gather your ingredients, and let your imagination run wild in the kitchen.
Get ready to savour the satisfaction of creating a one-of-a-kind Pork Caldereta that reflects your culinary prowess!