“When you put food infront of someone, it is an act of love.”-says The Cooking Channel. And this was so true when I recently visited my home province in the Philippines.
Simple. Unpretentious. Homemade. Wholesome. Just plain old delicious. Everything filled with love. That’s how I can describe all the home cooking I enjoyed at the meals prepared in my sister’s home. The same house where we both grew up in.
Calderetta is a Filipino dish, that’s Spanish-inspired. It is a stew where beef chunks are simmered in tomato sauce and tomato paste, soup broth, olives, potatoes, peppers and spices. If you leave it cooking over a slow, low fire for a few hours, the tomato sauce-based broth turns into a rich, dark golden-red blend and the combined flavors of the buttery olives and sweet peppers make it even more irresistable.
Pair this hearty beef chunks and potatoes stew simmered in olives with a bowl of steamed jasmine rice, and you will never want to leave the table!
BEEF SHORT RIBS CALDERETTA with OLIVES
- Serves 4 to 6
5 pounds of beef short ribs
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 whole onion, chopped
1 whole red pepper, sliced thin
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato sauce (about 1 cup)
1 can tomato paste
3 cups broth
2 Tablespoons sherry
1 cup black olives, pitted & sliced
1/2 cup green olives, pitted
3 whole potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Parsley flakes, for garnish
Steamed jasmine white rice, for serving
- In a large pot, over medium high heat, combine the olive oil and butter.
- Saute the garlic and onions.
- Add the beef short ribs and pan sear for a few minutes to seal the flavors. Add the Worcestershire sauce while beef is pan-searing.
- Add the green peppers. Then add the tomato sauce & paste. Add the broth and sherry.
- Add the 2 kinds of olives and seasonings. Once the broth boils, lower heat to a slow simmer.
- Cook till beef short ribs are tender and the tomato sauce broth turns to a thick, dark red orange color. Cooking time stove top should take about 90 minutes over a low heat.
- Add the potatoes at the last 30 minutes of cooking. Simmer for a few minutes more so that the flavors blend together. Garnish with parsley flakes. Serve hot with steamed jasmine rice.
COOK’S COMMENTS: To save time, I cook this Calderetta in a slow cooker and adjust the settings to suit my schedule. It’s a convenient way to just let the dish “cook by itself”.