The Virgin Stove

Making everything for the first time

Kalderetang Baka


Kaldereta-style beef stew. This is a native Filipino dish that is usually served on special occasions. Or on a nice day when Mom is feeling generous enough to cook a dish that takes hours to make.

My husband, C, joined a Filipino Food group on Facebook. He would look at pics and recipes and try to read the names. (He sounds so cute and funny but I love it because he’s determined to learn. Or at least learn the names of foods.) I am not well-versed when it comes to cooking my native country’s dishes. I know, it’s a disgrace and there is  no excuse for it. 😛 It’s just that my Mom, Dad and all my friends cook Filipino food so well. My (now ex) roommate, Jaja, is the world champion on kaldereta. So I decided to concentrate on Italian food. Now I regret not being as keen on learning to cook pagkaing Pinoy (Filipino food).

It took me more than two stressful hours to make it.

Kaldereta should be rich, hearty, and comforting. The sauce should be creamy, the beef must be tender. And, most of all, kaldereta should be flavorful.  Perfect for a cold, January night.



(Kaldereta Beef Stew)

1/3 cup canola oil
4 russet OR 3 golden potatoes, quartered
1 medium sized carrot, sliced 1/2 inch
1 medium onion, chopped finely
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 pounds of cubed beef chuck
2 cups beef stock OR 2 cups water mixed with 3 beef bouillon cubes
1 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 can liver spread/pate or 4 tablespoons mashed liverwurst
4-6 chopped chili peppers (according to taste)
4 bay leaves
2 red bell peppers, cut in half and sliced in strips
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

  • In a large sauce pan over medium heat, fry the potatoes and carrots until lightly browned. Take the potatoes and carrots out and set aside.
  • In the same pan, saute the garlic and onions until translucent. Add the beef and stir-fry until browned. Add the beef stock (or water with bouillon), tomato sauce, tomato paste, liver spread/pate (or mashed liverwurst), chopped chili peppers and bay leaves. Stir until combined. Let boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for an hour until beef is tender and sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the potatoes, carrots and red bell peppers. Let boil and simmer again for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked. Add the grated cheese and stir until it melts. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Serve hot over a bed of plain white rice.

You can experiment with different vegetables. Some use green bell peppers, olives, peas, etc.


2 responses to “Kalderetang Baka

  1. filipinofoodproject 5 February 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I had this yesterday…your pictures make me hungry! I’m so happy we have a home-y dish like this to relish during the colder months. 🙂

    • Steffi 5 February 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you. 🙂 I love Pinoy food, I just need to try harder. It’s also a challenge to take pics of our dishes, like this kaldereta. They never look as good as they actually taste!

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