Just imagine a bowl of extra tender stewed beef oxtail, beef tripe, beef stew meat and a variety of vegetables in a thick peanut sauce and shrimp paste (bagoong) served on the side. Kare-Kare is one unique dish that is loved by Filipinos. The yellowish color of the dish comes from theatsuete oil which contributes to its peppery flavor and a hint of nutmeg.
The flavor of this dish is dominantly from the peanut sauce mixed with the shrimp paste. As strange as that may sound, the totality of the flavor gives the tender meat and vegetables a savory taste that stands out amongst other Filipino dishes.
The origin of this dish is vague. It has been said that it came from Pampanga. Others believe that it came from a Muslim influence in the South. Another suggestion is that it is of a Japanese origin since the word Kare means curry in Japanese. Wherever it came from, Kare-Kare has characteristics of these three supposed origins.
Here’s a simple recipe we want to share with you:
• 400 grams oxtail
• 100 grams beef stew meat
• 50 grams beef tripe
• 2 regular size red onions (diced)
• 1 whole garlic (minced)
• 4 ½ cups beef stock
• 2 cups unsalted peanut butter
• ¼ cup annatto seeds (atsuete) soaked in ½ cup boiling water
• 4 tbsp brown sugar or any natural sweetener of choice
• black pepper
• bagoong (fermented shrimp paste)
• 4 pieces eggplant, sliced
• 1 bundle string beans, sliced
• 1 bunch Baby Bok Choy
1. Sauté onion and garlic with hot oil in a pot, once onions and garlic turn brownish remove and set aside.
2. Place all the meat in the same pot and brown all sides.
3. Pour beef stock and one cup of water into the pot, add garlic and onion back and bring to boil.
4. Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours until meat is tender (Add water as needed). Optional: Use pressure cooker for this process for shorter time.
5. Turn off heat and remove all the meat from the pot leaving the broth. Set meat aside
6. Add peanut butter, sugar, and water from soaked annatto seeds (atsuete) into pot and mix thoroughly until even in consistency. Turn heat back on to medium then let boil.
7. Turn to low heat and add all the meat back and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Cook vegetables separately (blanch string beans, eggplants and bok choy).
9. Serve Kare-Kare in a bowl. Place cooked vegetables on the side. Serve with bagoong.