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beef stew cubes - 3 to 4 pounds
Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tablespoon
garlic - 6 cloves, minced
onion - 1 large, chopped
celery - 1 cup chopped
tomato sauce - 1 cup
tomato paste - 3/4 cup
beef broth - 6 to 8 cups
salt - 1 teaspoon
black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
Spanish chorizos - 2 large pieces, each about 4 to 6 ounces, sliced
potatoes - 4 medium pieces, peeled, quartered
carrot - 1 large, peeled, sliced
green beans - 1 cup sliced
bok choy or Chinese cabbage - 2 cups, washed, ends trimmed, coarsely sliced in 2-inch pieces
scallions or green onions - 1/2 cup, chopped, for garnish
banana plantains or Filipino saging saba - 6 pieces, fully ripened, boiled separately, for serving (from Asian markets)
boiled jasmine white rice - for serving
Pre-marinate the beef pieces in the Worcestershire sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to an hour or even overnight.
In a heavy stock pot, over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil and saute the garlic, onions and celery. Pan fry the Spanish chorizo slices for 1 to 2 minutes to flavor the oil, then remove the chorizos and set aside.
Add the beef chunks, and pan sear for about 5 to 8 minutes till beef gets brown.
Add the tomato sauce and paste. Blend in the beef broth and stir well so the tomato sauces are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Let the broth boil for 1 to 2 minutes, then lower heat to a slow simmer over a medium to low flame. Cover pot and cook on slow fire till beef chunks are soft and fork-tender for about 2 hours. Keep stirring every 20 to 30 minutes so the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom.
In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the potatoes and carrots. Cook them for about 20 minutes till they soften and blend in the tomato sauce flavors. Add the green beans and let this cook for 8 minutes. Finally add the bok choy and cabbage, which will take 3 to 5 minutes to soften. Add in the chorizos which were pan seared earlier. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot with boiled banana plantains on the side and fragrant jasmine white rice.
Cook's Comments: When I don't have time, I make this dish ahead. I cook the beef cubes a day or two before. I pre-boiled the beef in my slow cooker or 'crock pot', set on 'High' for 6 hours till it was soft and tender. Cooking it stove top in the amount of time suggested in this recipe works well, too. You can add any other seasonal vegetables to this pot of stew and it will be just as wonderful.
Recipe Notes: I buy banana plantains from the Asian grocery and cover them in a brown bag to ripen fully. Then when I cook them, I boil the bananas with the skin on in a pot of water, for about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the thick skin and serve the boiled bananas as a side to this Beef Pochero.
Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, food writer and member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). She blogs about Filipino home cooking and culinary travels to the Philippines on her site AsianInAmericamag.com.
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