A hearty beef caldereta recipe that you will absolutely love! With meltingly tender beef and 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, 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.
- Carrots, Potatoes, and, Bell Peppers - are the primary vegetables of Beef Caldereta. These three are staples in any Filipino stew dish–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 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 flavorful. An added bonus is the deep dark red color of the sauce making it extra festive for special occasions.
Slow-cook the caldereta until the beef is tender. You can do this in the oven, stovetop, or 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.
What's a good substitute for liver spread?
Canned liver pate is a good substitute for reno liver spread. It should be available in most grocery stores.
Another good substitute is making your own liver spread. I recommend using chicken liver for its soft texture.
Here are the steps on how to prepare it:
- Marinate 1 to 2 pieces of chicken liver in 2 teaspoon 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 a paste.
If you're serving caldereta for Christmas, New Year, or special occasions, add pitted green olives, and green peas to make it extra festive.
Cooking in a Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
Using a pressure cooker is one of the quickest ways of cooking beef caldereta. It's not only time-saving but energy-saving too.
Here are my tips on how to make a good beef stew in a pressure cooker.
- Use beef brisket, oxtail, or beef ribs. These cuts tenderize well in a pressure cooker with less chance of becoming stringy and rubbery.
- Use enough water but don't fill it past the max level to prevent liquid from bursting out of the valve while releasing the pressure.
- Don't include the vegetables in the pressure cooking process or they will disintegrate. Add them once the beef is tender and when you start reducing the liquid.
Beef caldereta is always served as a main dish with a side of a warm cup of rice and steamed vegetables. Just like adobo, it is so much better the next day after all the flavors have developed.
Storage and shelf-life
Leftovers can last in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days and stored in an air-tight container. To further extend the shelf life, freeze in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag—thaw before reheating on the stove or microwave.
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 teaspoon 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 a paste.
You can use processed cheddar cheese or sharp cheddar.
Pork ribs are a good substitute for beef caldereta. You can check out the recipe here.
More recipes for your weekly menu...
- Chinese Style Braised Beef (Beef Pares)
- Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beef Steak)
- Chicken Arroz Caldo
- Beef Tapa for Tapsilog
- Soft Pandesal
- Chicken Afritada
- Beef Nilaga Pressure Cooker Recipe (Nilagang Baka)
Watch how to make Beef Caldereta
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- 1 kg / 2.2 lbs beef chuck ( cut into 4cm cubes)
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
Caldereta Sauce and Vegetables
- 4 tablespoon vegetable oil (divided)
- 2 large potatoes (quartered)
- 1 large carrot (peeled and sliced)
- 1 medium green bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 3 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tomatoes (sliced)
- 2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water (add more as needed)
- 2 pieces bay leaf
- ¼ cup liver spread/paste
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar (add more if preferred)
- 3 tablespoon pickle relish (optional)
- dash Worcestershire (see note 4)
- 1 pc red chili (optional)
- ½ 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 tablespoon oil in a large pot. Stir-fry the carrots and potatoes until lightly brown. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Stir-fry the bell peppers until fragrant. Set aside.
- Remove the beef from the marinade, remove any garlic bits. Reserve the marinade. Add 2 tablespoon oil to the same pot over high heat. Sear the beef on both sides until brown and caramelized. Do it in two batches if needed.
- Push the beef to the side of the pot. Add the onions and 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. Stir with the beef then add the marinade and fish sauce. Cover with lid and simmer until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
- Pour the beef stock, bay leaf, sugar, pickles, liver spread. Cover with a lid. Bring to boil then adjust heat to medium-low. Cook until beef is tender. This could take 1 to 2 hours or longer depending on the thickness of the beef. *See notes for different cooking methods.
- Add back carrots, and potatoes. Cook for 10 mins until tender. Simmer without a lid to thicken the sauce. Add grated cheese and simmer until it has completely melted. The sauce will thicken a bit more.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add bell peppers, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with warm rice. 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, or coconut vinegar
- Worcestershire - can be substituted with liquid seasonings such as Maggi, Knorr, or Braggs Aminos
- 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 ½ - 2 hours at 150C / 300F. Do steps 6 and 7 then return to the oven for a further 20 - 30 minutes WITHOUT the lid on to reduce the sauce.
- SLOW COOKER: Do steps 1 to 5 but include the carrots and potatoes. Transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Simmer on the stovetop to reduce the liquid.
- PRESSURE COOKER/ INSTANT POT: Do steps 1 to 5. Don’t fill it past the max level to prevent liquid from bursting out. Reduce water up to 1 cup. Close the lid and position the valve to a SEALING position. PRESSURE COOK for 25 minutes (adjust to 35 minutes if using thicker cuts). Release the pressure using quick release. Proceed with steps 6 and 7 using the SAUTE mode.
- 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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