A simple Beef Mechado recipe made with chunks of beef and fresh tomatoes all thrown in a pressure cooker. In one hour, this classic Filipino beef stew becomes meltingly tender, the sauce rich with a touch of sweet, slightly tangy, and deeply flavored.
Beef Mechado Ingredients
Beef Mechado is a much simpler Filipino beef stew compared to Afritada and Caldereta. It is likewise a tomato-based stew, has a tangy touch with the use of calamansi or lemon juice and soy sauce for a deeper umami flavor. A small amount of sugar is added to balance the acidity and enhance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes.
Fried potatoes and carrots are oftentimes added to extend the dish but today’s Mechado recipe, the beef is the only star. Feel free to add the vegetables if preferred.
At the end of the cooking, sliced red bell peppers are added as a final touch that to give the dish a sweet and fruity aroma.
What cut of meat should be used for Beef Mechado?
Beef cuts sold for stew that are tough, lean and collagen-rich are best for beef soup. In this recipe, I used beef brisket and a few pieces of tendon. Tendon gives the dish a melt-in-your-mouth texture and richer beef flavor.
How to Make Pressure Cooker Beef Mechado
Although this is a pressure cooker recipe, an ample amount of time was spent on building the flavor. The goal is tender beef and flavorful and delicious sauce! So here how it goes:
- Marinate the beef in calamansi, soy sauce, and garlic. This will flavor, tenderize and retain the moisture of the meat.
- Sear the meat until all sides are brown. Searing helps build more flavor with the caramelization. Remember not to overcrowd the pan.
- Stir-fry the onion and tomatoes until softened and juices have come out. This deglazes the pan and makes the stew rich and more flavorful. Make sure to use ripe tomatoes for a naturally sweet and reddish Mechado sauce. Add back the beef, pour the marinade and the rest of the ingredients.
- Pressure cook: Close the lid and position valve to pressure cook. When pressure is reached, lower the heat to maintain pressure. Set timer to 20mins. For an electric pressure cooker, please follow your user manual. You can also refer to this site for detailed instructions.
- Release the pressure (Quick release) after 25 minutes. Use cold water release for a stove-top pressure cooker. If using an electric pressure cooker, please follow directions from the user manual.
- Reduce and thicken the sauce: Add tomato paste then set heat to high and let it simmer until sauce has reduced about 10 minutes. Add bell peppers 3 minutes before it finishes cooking.
As always, Beef Mechado is best served with a warm cup of rice. Just look at that deep and rich red color.
More Beef recipes for you to try!
- Easy Korean Beef Bulgogi
- Beef Nilaga Pressure Cooker Recipe (Nilagang Baka)
- Homemade Beef Pares
- Thai Basil Beef Zucchini Stir-fry
- Quick and Easy Beef Stir-fry
- Minced Beef Sopas-Filipino Style Macaroni Beef Soup
- Sweet and Spicy Beef Tapa
- Beef Mushroom Burger with Fried Onions
- cooking oil
- 900 grams /2 lbs beef (cut into chunks)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons calamansi juice
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 7 ripe tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- 2 teaspoons sugar (add more if preferred)
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large red bell pepper (sliced into strips)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Place beef in a bowl with soy sauce, calamansi juice, and garlic. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
- Heat 1 tablespoons of cooking oil in the pressure cooker pot and brown all sides of the beef in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan. Reserve the marinade. Transfer the beef on a plate and set aside.
- Heat another 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot and add onions. Stir-fry until translucent. Add tomatoes. Cover with lid and let it cook until the flesh has softened and juices have formed.
- Add back the beef with the bay leaves, black peppercorn, reserved marinade, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Close the lid and position valve to pressure cook. When pressure is reached, lower the heat to maintain pressure. Set timer to 25mins. If using an electric pressure cooker, please follow the user manual.
- Release the pressure (quick release). Use cold water release for a stove-top pressure cooker. If using an electric pressure cooker, please follow the user manual. Set heat to high. Add tomato paste and let it simmer until sauce has reduced. Add bell peppers, 5 minutes before it finishes cooking. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with rice and enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Beef cut options: stewing beef, beef brisket, chuck and cross-cut shanks.
- If using potatoes and carrots, pan-fry them in hot oil them while waiting for the beef to tenderize. Add to the pot and finish the cooking with the sauce reducing.
- Calamansi can be substituted with lemon juice.
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