We are introducing comfort food at the heart of Filipino cuisine with this Beef Caldereta (or Beef Kaldereta)!! This robust and savory stew is a beloved classic, known for its rich layers of flavor and comforting warmth.
Originating from the Philippines, Caldereta is a testament to the country’s culinary heritage, blending a variety of influences into a harmonious and mouth-watering dish.
In the early days of GypsyPlate, we cooked Chicken Caldereta and Pork Menudo for you guys and were amazed by the rich, comforting flavors of stews coming from the Philippines. We tried Filipino food for the first time in Las Vegas. Since then, we are always on the look out for good Filipino food, which can be hard to find.
So, we got used to trying them in our very own kitchen, and can’t get enough of Giniling, Asado and of course, Filipino Adobo. Our love for Filipino food is quite apparent here on GypsyPlate. Today’s dish has been on my wish list for a long, long time, and I am very happy with the flavors I created with this amazing Filipino stew.
At its core, Beef Caldereta showcases tender chunks of marinated beef stewed in a lush tomato base. A hint of spice from chili flakes and the unique addition of liver spread create an unforgettable depth of flavor.
Vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers add texture and heartiness, while green olives and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese offer a final flourish of complexity and richness.
Perfect for family gatherings, special occasions, or a comforting weekend meal, this Beef Caldereta recipe promises a new culinary experience. If you are looking for new flavors in your beef stew, this Beef Caldereta will wow you, and make you a big fan of Filipino cuisine.
Why People Love This Filipino Beef Stew
- Rich, Deep Flavors: The combination of soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic in the marinade, along with tomato sauce and liver spread, creates a complex and savory taste profile.
- Comforting and Hearty: With its thick, stew-like consistency filled with tender beef and vegetables, it’s a comforting meal, perfect for cozy family dinners.
- Cultural Significance: As a staple in Filipino cuisine, Beef Caldereta carries cultural and nostalgic value for many, representing home cooking and tradition.
- Versatile Dish: It can be easily adapted to suit different tastes or dietary preferences, making it a hit among diverse groups.
- Festive and Celebratory: Often served at celebrations and gatherings, it’s associated with happy occasions and togetherness.
- Unique Ingredients: The use of liver spread and green olives adds a unique twist that distinguishes it from other beef stews.
- Long-lasting and Reheatable: It’s a dish that tastes even better the next day, making it perfect for leftovers and meal prepping.
What is Beef Caldereta?
Beef Caldereta, or “Kalderetang Baka” in Filipino, is a hearty and rich stew that has become a staple in Filipino cuisine. The name “Caldereta” originates from the Spanish word “caldera,” meaning a cauldron or large cooking pot, highlighting its Spanish culinary roots.
The dish originated during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, which lasted for over 300 years. Caldereta reflects the fusion of Filipino and Spanish culinary traditions, similar to other Filipino dishes like Adobo and Menudo.
Traditionally, Caldereta was prepared with goat meat, but over time, it has evolved to include other meats like beef, pork, or chicken. In Filipino culture, Caldereta is often associated with festive occasions and family gatherings.
The culinary characteristics of Beef Caldereta make it distinct and beloved. It’s renowned for its thick, flavorful sauce made from tomato paste and liver spread or pâté, enriched with a blend of spices.
The addition of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers, and sometimes olives and cheese, contributes to its hearty and robust nature. This combination of rich sauce, tender meat, and vegetables creates a very special stew, loved by many.
What is the Best Cut of Beef for this Stew?
Chuck Roast: Chuck roast is ideal for stews due to its rich marbling and connective tissue, which break down during slow cooking, resulting in tender and flavorful meat. It also absorbs flavors well and contributes to a richer broth.
Beef Brisket: Another excellent choice for stewing. It has a good amount of fat and connective tissue that becomes tender and flavorful when cooked slowly.
Beef Shank: Contains a lot of connective tissue and bone marrow, which add depth and richness to the stew. It’s a less common cut but highly effective for slow-cooked dishes.
Round Cut (Bottom or Top): A leaner option compared to chuck or brisket. It’s best when cut into small pieces and not overcooked to avoid toughness.
Short Ribs: They provide a rich, meaty flavor, similar to chuck roast. The bones also add extra flavor to the stew.
Oxtail: Known for its gelatinous content and rich flavor, it’s an unconventional but delicious alternative. It does take longer to cook to become tender.
- Beef: Today we are using chuck roast but you can use any of the other alternative cuts mentioned above. You can also substitute it with goat or lamb if that’s your preferred meat, like me.
- Marination Ingredients (Soy Sauce, White Vinegar, Garlic): These ingredients work together to tenderize and infuse the beef with deep, savory flavors.
- Aromatic Vegetables (Onion, Garlic, Bell Peppers): These vegetables form the flavor base of the stew, adding sweetness and aroma.
- Root Vegetables (Potatoes, Carrots): They add heartiness, texture, and a mild sweetness to balance the savory elements of the stew.
- Tomato Elements (Tomato Paste, Tomato Sauce): These provide the primary flavor and body of the stew, creating a rich and tangy base.
- Seasonings and Flavor Enhancers (Fish Sauce, Red Chili Flakes, Brown Sugar, Bay Leaves): This combination of seasonings adds depth, a hint of heat, and a subtle sweetness, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
- Richness Additions (Liver Spread/Paste, Grated Cheddar Cheese): Liver spread is a traditional ingredient that adds a unique richness, while cheddar cheese melts into the sauce for added creaminess.
- Liquids (Beef Stock, Oil): Beef stock forms the liquid base of the stew, while oil is used for browning the meat and vegetables, adding richness.
- Accents (Green Olives, Frozen Green Peas): Olives add a briny contrast, and green peas introduce a pop of color and slight sweetness.
Do I Have to Use Liver Paste?
While you would still end up with a mighty good stew without it, the use of liver paste is traditional.
We were squeamish in our early days and omitted it from our chicken caldereta. However, after using liver spread in this recipe, we do recommend it. It adds a depth of flavor, but does not make the stew taste like liver.
Beef Caldereta Recipe
1. Marinate the Beef: Combine beef chunks with soy sauce, white vinegar, and chopped garlic. Refrigerate for a few hours.
2. Browning and Searing: Heat half the oil in a pan. Brown potatoes and carrots with salt and pepper, then set aside. This helps them hold the shape while cooking so they don’t turn mushy. In the same pot, add remaining oil. Sear beef chunks until browned. Do it in batches without crowding them so they get a nice golden brown sear, without steaming.
3. Building the Stew Base: Move the meat to the periphery of the pot and add the onion to the middle. Cook onion until soft. Add garlic and remaining marinade, cook for a minute. Stir in tomato paste, cook for a few minutes. Add tomato sauce, fish sauce, and red chili flakes. Cook for 5 minutes.
4. Simmering the Stew: Add beef stock, brown sugar, bay leaves, and liver spread. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until beef is tender. Return browned carrots, potatoes to the pot. Add green olives. Cook until potatoes are tender.
5. Final Touches: Season with salt and pepper. Add green peas and grated cheese. Cook until the sauce thickens. Add bell peppers and cook until slightly crunchy.
6. Serving: Serve the stew warm with freshly cooked rice.
Alpana’s Recipe Tips
- Quality of Beef: Choose a well marbled chuck roast for best results. The marbling in chuck roast contributes to a more flavorful and tender stew.
- Marination Time: Marinate the beef for at least a few hours. This allows the flavors to penetrate deeply into the meat.
- Searing the Beef: Make sure to sear the beef well. This process caramelizes the surface of the meat, adding a depth of flavor to the stew. Don’t overcrowd the pot as it may simply steam instead of searing. Sear in batches if needed.
- Tomato Paste Cooking: Cook the tomato paste for a few minutes before adding other liquids. This step deepens the flavor of the tomato paste.
- Simmering the Stew: Simmer the stew on a low heat. This slow cooking process makes the beef incredibly tender and allows flavors to meld beautifully.
- Thickness of the Stew: If the stew is too thin, let it simmer uncovered for the last 30 minutes to reduce and thicken. If it’s too thick, add a bit more beef stock.
- Taste and Adjust: Taste the stew as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed. The balance of flavors can change as the stew simmers.
- Adding Vegetables: Add the potatoes and carrots at the right time to ensure they are cooked perfectly – tender but not mushy.
- Resting the Stew: Let the stew rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the flavors to settle and the sauce to thicken slightly.
A Few Variations
Swap the Meat: Substitute beef with chicken for a lighter version. Chicken thighs or drumsticks are great options, as they remain tender and flavorful when stewed. Use pork shoulder or ribs as an alternative to beef. Pork offers a different flavor profile and tends to cook faster. Or go traditional route and make it with goat or lamb.
Seafood Caldereta: For a pescatarian twist, use seafood like shrimp, squid, and mussels. Seafood cooks faster, so adjust cooking time accordingly.
Vegetarian Caldereta: Replace the meat with a variety of vegetables like eggplant, bell peppers, mushrooms, and chickpeas. Use a rich vegetable stock instead of beef stock.
Spicy Caldereta: Increase the amount of red chili flakes or add fresh chili peppers for a spicier kick.
Creamy Caldereta: Add coconut milk or cream for a richer, creamier sauce. This also adds a subtle sweetness and tones down the spice level.
Cheesy Caldereta: For cheese lovers, increase the amount of grated cheddar or add a mix of cheeses like mozzarella and Parmesan for extra creaminess and flavor.
Can I Make Kaldereta in a Slow Cooker?
Beef Caldereta is great in a crockpot (what stew isn’t?). Just follow the steps below, and get ready for some great aromas wafting out of your kitchen:
- Prepare and Brown Ingredients: Marinate the beef as per the recipe. Brown the beef in a skillet. Sauté onions, garlic, and tomato paste briefly.
- Layer in Crockpot: Place the browned beef in the crockpot. Add the sautéed onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Add a little of the beef stock into the skillet and stir it around to deglaze, then pour it into the crockpot. Include potatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, fish sauce, red chili flakes, and the liver spread. Pour in the remaining beef stock.
- Slow Cook: Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Adjust for salt and pepper.
- Final Additions: About 45 minutes before serving, stir in green olives, frozen green peas, and grated cheddar cheese. Add bell peppers in the last 20-30 minutes to keep them slightly crunchy. Adjust seasoning as needed, and serve the stew hot with steamed rice.
Leftovers and Storage Suggestions
Stews like Caldereta often taste better the next day. The flavors have more time to meld together, resulting in a richer and more harmonious taste.
Allow the Caldereta to cool to room temperature before storing. However, don’t leave it out for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth. Transfer the cooled Caldereta to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It’s best consumed within 3 to 4 days.
For longer storage, freeze the Caldereta in freezer-safe containers. Properly stored, it can last up to 3 months in the freezer.
When reheating, ensure it’s heated thoroughly. If using a microwave, stir occasionally for even heating. If reheating from frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. The sauce may thicken upon cooling. Add a little water or broth when reheating if it’s too thick.
Try this great beef stew, Filipino style, the next time you feel like a comfort food night. This is perfect for the chilly winter nights coming your way.
Gather around the table, ladle the stew onto warm rice plates, and watch as it brings smiles and warmth to everyone who tastes it.
Beef Caldereta, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2.5lbs chuck roast (cut into chunks)
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 Tbsp oil, divided
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion, cut into small chunks
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp liver spread/paste (see note 1)
- ¼ cup pitted green olives
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 small green bell pepper, cored and cubed
- 1 small red bell pepper, cored and cubed
- Mix marinade ingredients with beef chunks and marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator, or while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Heat 2 Tbsp oil in dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add potatoes and carrots. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned. Remove to a plate.
- In the same pot, add remaining 2 Tbsp oil and sear the beef chunks, shaking off excess marinade (do not discard the marinade). Brown the beef chunks on all sides. Do it in batches if needed.
- Push the beef to the sides of the pot. Add in the onion and cook until it softens.
- Add in chopped garlic along with the rest of the marinade and cook for a minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, fish sauce and red chili flakes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add beef stock, brown sugar, bay leaves, and liver spread. Mix well and bring the mixture to a low boil. Adjust the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until beef is tender. Stir occasionally to ensure it does not get burnt at the bottom.
- Add carrots and potatoes along with green olives and cook about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are almost tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Add green peas and grated cheese and cook until sauce starts thickening up.
- Add bell peppers and cook the stew till bell peppers are soft, yet hold a little crunch.
- Serve with warm, fresh rice.
- Liver spread or paste gives its authentic caldereta creamy taste and flavor. If you prefer not to use it or are not able to find it in your store, this stew still turns out finger licking delicious.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 547Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 143mgSodium 1125mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 4gSugar 6gProtein 43g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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