Filipino Kare-Kare

I’ve been married to my wife now for a couple of handful of years, and as she is from Filipino descent, I feel like I’ve only skimmed the surface of Filipino cuisine. I’ve tinkered with giniling, adobo, afritada, lechon manok, the torta, chicharrones with rice, lumpia shanghai, and even a take on sisig, but there is one thing I haven’t tried yet, and that is kare-kare.  You see, my father-in-law is from a province from the Philippines known as Papanga, and they are known for their cooking, and one of their traditional dishes is kare-kare.

Kare-kare is essentially a stew, typically made with oxtail, however other variations do exist. Now I’ve purchased oxtail for my father-in-law in the past, typically from my local Mexican supermarket, but I’ve never smelled, nor tasted this authentic Filipino stew. So as I was at the market a few weeks back, I saw some folks buying oxtail in bulk, and that led me to some interest. I moseyed over there and asked how they were going to make those oxtails. They politely said, that they braise them and serve them with vegetables. That sparked that idea of making kare-kare, and that’s when it began.

Filipino Kare-Kare Recipe

Let’s get started.

Now, let me state that not only was this awesome, but I got two thumbs up, with almost a bit of a giggle (because it was that good) from my father-in-law. That meant a lot to me. I also would state that you can go a number of different ways with kare-kare, but this was my take on it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs oxtail, cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1/2 lb beef tripe, cleaned, roughly chopped
  • 10 cups of water
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 bundle of snake beans, or green beans cut into 3 inch segments
  • 5 baby bok choy, rinsed
  • 4 baby Asian egg plant, cut in half
  • 3 whole carrots, trimmed, and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup of toasted, ground rice
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 heaping tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 heaping tbsp roasted bagoong (shrimp paste)
  • 1 tbsp annatto powder
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Start by adding water to a large soup pot. Add in the oxtail, and bring to a boil. When the scum comes to the surface, skim with a large spoon and discard. Continue boiling until all of the scum is removed, about 3 hours or so.

Next add in the tripe, black peppercorns, fish sauce, and bay leaf. Continue to cook at a low boil for about 1 hour, then remove from the stove and let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Ingredients for making kare-kare

Now you might be wondering why I put it in the refrigerator overnight. I do this, not only because my mother-in-law recommended it, but I knew that it was going to have fat from the oxtail that would surface, and I wanted to remove that for a cleaner stew.

So the next day, remove the pot from the refrigerator and remove the 1 inch hardened fat that surfaced.

Return the stock pot back to the stove, and bring to a medium heat.

The next couple of steps will get you to have a few pans on the stove. Once your stew comes back to a simmer, remove the oxtail from it and place them on a plate.

Next, heat up a small skillet on medium heat, and add in the oil, and the annatto powder. This gives the great color to the kare-kare. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add in the onions and garlic, cooking for about 5 minutes, then add the annatto oil mixture to the stock and give it a good stir.

Add in the roasted shrimp paste as well as the peanut butter and toasted rice. Give another good stir, and continue to simmer the stock.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle a bit of oil onto the carrots and egg plants, and cooke until tender, about 30 minutes.

Filipino Kare-Kare Recipe

Next, get a stock pot out and add with water, about half way up. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the snake beans, and cook for a few minutes. Once cooked, add them to a bowl of ice water to blanch them. Strain and reserve them for later use.

Do the same with the bok choy.

To a large skillet, bring it to a medium-high heat, and add the oxtail. Brown both sides, and then return them back to the stock.

Now you are ready to serve.

Some will cook the vegetables in the stock, and I went a different route as suggested by our cousin in California. My father-in-law said this is ‘fancy’ kare-kare. I’ll take that.

When you are ready to plate, again, you can go a couple of different routes. I plated mine, arranging the oxtail and tripe, near the rice and array of vegetables, ladling the awesome sauce over the top. However you can add everything to a serving bowl, excluding the rice, mix, and serve. It’s entirely up to you.

Kare-Kare Recipe

When I offered my plating to my father-in-law, I think he was in a bit of shock. Not only how I performed with the classic Papangan kare-kare recipe, but how it was plated. He called me later in the day, thanking me of a job well done. Now I know what kare-kare is, and how awesome this stew was. By the way, have no fear of the oxtail or tripe. It’s a winning combination that will have you wanting more and more.

I hope you enjoy, and I hope to offer you a lot more Filipino recipes in the future.

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St. Patty’s Day Recipe Ideas

St. Patty’s Day is right around the corner, and as I do not get overly excited for the day itself, I do get excited about coming up with unique Irish, and more importantly corned beef recipes that I would like to share with you. Please enjoy. Scroll down for the links to the recipes.

St. Patty's Day Recipe Ideas

Listing according to the images above.

  1. Reuben Potato Skins Recipe > 
  2. Corned Beef Hash Quesadillas >
  3. Corned Beef Melt >
  4. Corned Beef Hash >
  5. Corned Beef Hash Potstickers >
  6. Corned Beef Sandwich >
  7. Corned Beef Cheeseburger >
  8. Irish Colcannon >
  9. Reuben Egg Rolls >
  10.  Irish Beef Stew >
  11. Irish Champ >

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Chickpea and Cauliflower Stew

When I think of comfort food, well, I think of pretty much anything I have created on this blog, however I often find comfort in really simple dishes such as this chickpea and cauliflower stew. I try to serve something ‘healthy’ during our family dinners throughout the week. That can be anything from a mixed salad, or a great stir fry. The goal is always to have my kids get their vegetable intake, and often times they do a pretty great job. As I was looking at a side dish to make, I noticed I had a head of cauliflower in my refrigerator, and that is when it sparked to make a simple stew, utilizing the cauliflower and some simple pantry items. This was chickpea and cauliflower stew was pretty awesome.

Chickpea and Cauliflower Stew

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained
  • 20 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 whole onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, trimmed into florets
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt, to taste

Start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in the canola oil, and then toss in the onions and garlic. Cook until the onion softens, about 7 minutes, then add the paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir to cook the seasonings, just about a minute, then add in the crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, and cauliflower.

How to make chickpeas and cauliflower stew

Reduce the heat a bit, and cook until the cauliflower gets tender, about 10 minutes. When tender, add in the chopped spinach and give a good stir.

Taste, and adjust any seasoning.

Serve alongside your meal, however this can be a great meal in itself as well. I ended up eating this for about 3 days straight. The acid from the tomatoes lends a great hand to cumin and paprika, as well as the great tenderness from the chickpeas and cauliflower. Hope you enjoy.

Chickpea and Cauliflower Stew
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained
  • 20 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ whole onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ head of cauliflower, trimmed into florets
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in the canola oil, and then toss in the onions and garlic. Cook until the onion softens, about 7 minutes, then add the paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir to cook the seasonings, just about a minute, then add in the crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, and cauliflower.
  2. Reduce the heat a bit, and cook until the cauliflower gets tender, about 10 minutes. When tender, add in the chopped spinach and give a good stir.
  3. Taste, and adjust any seasoning.
  4. Serve alongside your meal, however this can be a great meal in itself as well. I ended up eating this for about 3 days straight. The acid from the tomatoes lends a great hand to cumin and paprika, as well as the great tenderness from the chickpeas and cauliflower.

 

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Asian Style Beef Stew

Comfort food season is still in full effect here in chilly Wisconsin. Who am I kidding, it seems as though comfort food is always in full effect in my house! Recently as I was rummaging through my freezer, I happened to see a rump roast, and I decided to set it out for the following meal. My kids have yet to get into the whole idea of beef stew, or a pot roast if you will. I have no idea why as I consider that meal totally comforting, however you make it. With that said, and with the notion that my kids were not going to be all that interested in it, I decided to take a spin on a beef stew, and use some Asian style flavors that just elevated this beef stew to a whole other level.

Asian Style Beef Stew Recipe

The ingredients in this recipe are simple. Basically beef, carrots, onion, garlic, and an Asian punch of fish sauce. It’s incredible.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs of beef rump roast, cut into large cubes
  • 2 whole yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 whole carrots, trimmed, cut into large chunks
  • 4 clove of garlic, minced
  • 5 pieces of star anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of good quality fish sauce, I use Red Boat
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 4 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 5 whole russet potatoes, cubed, and cooked
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • salt, to taste

Start by getting a large pot or dutch oven on the stove, on medium heat. Add the canola oil, and let it come up to temperature.

Season the beef with salt and cracked black pepper, then add the beef to the pot, being careful not to crowd the beef. Work in batches if you have to. Brown and caramelize each side of the beef cubes. Once all of the beef is browned, add in the onions, and give a good stir. The onions will release some moisture which will allow you to scrape any of the fond from the bottom of the pot.

Once the onions have sweated down a bit, and are translucent, toss in the garlic, star anise, chili flakes, and cinnamon. Give that a good stir and cook for a few minutes to release the awesome aroma. Seriously, take in that aroma.

Next add in the brown sugar, and give this a good stir. It should dissolve rather quickly. Next, add in the fish sauce, and again another stir. This is when my kids had asked ‘What’s that smell?!’. They should be accustomed to that smell by now, trust me.

How to make Asian style beef stew

Ok, now it is time to add in the beef stock. Pour it in, stir, and let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about  1 1/2 hours.

During this time, make the mashed potatoes. To a another pot, add cold water. Peel your potatoes, cut them into cubes, and place them in the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the potatoes, returning them back to the pot, and cook them again on medium-low heat to remove any excess water. Then you can either mash them in the pot, or run them through a ricer. Regardless, once they are mashed, add the butter, milk, and season with salt. Taste, and season or adjust to your liking. Set them aside until you are ready to use them.

After about 1 hour of cooking the beef stew, add in the carrots, and give another stir. Taste the broth and season with any salt and pepper at that time. It should be sweet, aromatic, and Asian tasting if you will.

When the beef is about fall apart tender, and the carrots are tender, it is then time to serve.

Asian Style Beef Stew Recipe

To a plate, spread out some of the mashed potatoes, then ladle on the Asian style beef stew. Make sure you get plenty of carrots and beef, and pick out any of the star anise and cinnamon as you will not want yourself, or others to eat those!

This might look like a standard style beef stew, but trust me, it is way more than that. The flavor profile is similar, may in aromatics, of that of Vietnamese pho, but in the comfort of a beef stew. Trust me on this one. It is pretty darn delicious. Did my kids eat it? Nope. I will say however that once they do get ‘courageous’ and step out of their own comfort zones, I know they will fall in love with any type of beef stew.  I hope you enjoy!

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