A hearty Beef Caldereta recipe that you will absolutely love! With meltingly tender beef, rich and cheesy sauce–it’s a perfect dish you can make for special occasions, weekly family gatherings, or for days when you just want to indulge.
Simmer slowly on the stove or oven, or use your pressure cooker to shorten the cooking time, or set and forget with your slow cooker. Directions and tips are all here!
What you need to make Beef Caldereta
- Beef – the best part of beef for caldereta is chuck beef. It has a nice amount of fat and becomes tender and juicy after slow cooking for hours. Beef brisket, beef ribs, and beef shanks also work well.
- Vinegar and Soy Sauce – give the dish a hint of tanginess and deeper red color.
- Worcestershire sauce/ Fish Sauce – for added depth of flavor.
- Carrots, Potatoes and, Bell Peppers – are the main vegetables of Beef Caldereta. These three are staples in any Filipino stew dishes–Afritada, Igado, Menudo, and Filipino-style chicken curry.
- Tomato Paste – is the secret to a rich and thick caldereta sauce. I personally prefer this over tomato sauce.
- Liver Spread – gives the caldereta a rich and complex flavor. This ingredient is what makes this beef stew uniquely Filipino.
- Cheese – makes the sauce creamy and balances the overall flavor of the stew.
How to make the best Beef Caldereta ever!
And here are my top secrets to making the best beef caldereta you’ll ever have!
- Marinate the beef in soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. It doesn’t have to take long. You can do this as the first step then move on to preparing the rest of the ingredients. You won’t even notice that 10 minutes have passed!
- Sear the beef in hot oil until brown. See those charred bits and pieces of meat and marinade? That’s the key to making your caldereta sauce delicious! You don’t have to do this on all of the beef pieces. Just do half of the portion to save time then just stir-fry the rest of the meat until no longer pink. Easy peasy!
- Cook the tomato paste by sauteing it with the meat, spices, and fresh tomatoes. This deglazes the pan and makes the stew rich and more flavorful. Added bonus is the deep dark red color of the sauce making it extra festive for special occasions.
- Add the cheese earlier in the cooking process. This will give the sauce a caramelized cheese flavor and it’s so so so good!
Slow cook the caldereta until the beef is tender. You can do this in the oven, stove-top, or even in your slow cooker.
Reduce the sauce until it reaches the consistency you prefer. Mine took 15 minutes on high heat to get this thick and rich sauce.
Other caldereta add-ins:
You can add pitted green olives and green peas.
Serve, storage and shelf-life
Beef caldereta, just like adobo, is so much better the next day after all the flavors have developed. It can last in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days stored in an air-tight container. To further extend the shelf life freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Thaw before reheating on the stove or microwave.
Love Filipino food? Here are more recipes for you!
- Beef Pares
- Chicken Inasal
- Pininyahang Manok
- Pork Ribs Adobo
- Sweet and Spicy Beef Tapa
- Bicol Express
- Beef Nilaga
- Filipino Chicken Curry
- Chicken Afritada
- Tender Pork Humba
- 1 kg / 2.2 lbs beef chuck ( cut into 4cm cubes)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
Caldereta Sauce and Vegetables
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil (divided)
- 2 medium potatoes (peeled and quartered)
- 1 large carrot (peeled and sliced)
- 1 medium green bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tomatoes (sliced)
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 pieces bay leaf
- 1/2 cup / 85g can liver spread/paste (i used Reno)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (or fish sauce)
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp pickle relish (optional)
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Combine all the ingredients for the beef in a large bowl. Toss all together and let it marinate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, gather and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot. Stir-fry the carrots and potatoes until lightly brown. Season with salt. Set aside. Stir-fry the bell peppers until the skin starts to blister and have brown spots. Set aside. (Note that this step can be made optional but highly recommend doing it for the bell peppers to make the color brighter.)
- Remove the beef from the marinade, remove any garlic bits. Reserve the marinade. Add 2 tbsp oil to the same pot over high heat. Sear the beef on both sides until brown and caramelized. Don't overcrowd the pan. To save time, you can sear just half the portion and stir-fry the rest.
- Add back the seared beef with the onions. Cook until softened. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, stir scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits at the bottom. Add the marinade. Cover with lid and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour the beef stock, bay leaf, sugar, pickles, liver spread, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the carrots and potatoes. Bring to boil and add half of the bell peppers.
- Adjust heat to low / medium-low so it's simmering gently. Cook for 1 hour 45 minutes or until beef is tender (check after 1.5 hrs using two forks). *See notes for different cooking methods.
- Remove lid and simmer for further 15-20 minutes until the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the remaining bell peppers and remove from heat. Serve with warm rice and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Beef - beef brisket, beef ribs, and beef shanks should also work well.
- Broth alternative - dissolve 2 beef bouillon cubes in 3 cups hot water.
- Vinegar: white rice vinegar (not seasoned), cane vinegar, coconut vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are good options.
- Make it spicy - add chopped bird's eye chilies.
- Other add-ins: green peas and green olives. Add 2 to 3 minutes before the end of cooking.
- OVEN: After step 5, cover and bake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours at 150C / 300F. Remove lid then return to the oven for a further 20 - 30 minutes to reduce the sauce. You can also reduce on the stove if preferred.
- SLOW COOKER: Do steps 1 to 5. Transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove lid and reduce the sauce using the stovetop until the desired consistency is reached.
- PRESSURE COOKER: Do steps 1 to 5, but don't add the carrots and potatoes. Close the lid and position valve to pressure cook. When pressure is reached (sizzling), set the heat to medium and maintain pressure. Set the timer to 20 mins. When the 20 minutes are up, release the pressure from the pot according to the manufacturer's instructions - mine needs to sit under cold running water for 5 minutes until the lid can be released. Remove the lid. Add the carrots and potatoes let it simmer on med-high heat until sauce has reduced and the vegetables are cooked.
- Refrigerate or freeze, then thaw before reheating on the stove or microwave. Tastes even better the next day because the flavors develop even more.
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Frequently asked questions
You can use chicken liver as a substitute for liver spread. Here are the steps on how to prepare it:
Marinate 1 to 2 pieces of chicken liver in 2 tsp soy sauce and black pepper for 10 minutes.
Pan-fry in hot oil for 2 to 3 mins until brown. Add the marinade and cook for another 2 minutes.
Place in a blender or food processor with a little bit of water until it forms into a paste.
You can use processed cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar.
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