To tint and thicken the sauce
- 4 to 6 cups beef bone broth
- ¼ annatto seeds
- ¼ cup rice flour - (NOT glutinous rice flour!)
- 1 small white cabbage - cut into wedges
- 2 large eggplants - (preferably the long Asian variety), cut into ¾-inch sliced
- 1 bunch sitaw (yard-long beans) - cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 kilogram cooked bagnet - or use lechon kawali (see notes after the recipe)
- cooking oil - for deep frying
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter - (we use sweetened)
- patis (fish sauce)
Start making the kare-kare sauce
- Heat the beef broth in a large pan until boiling.
- Place the annatto seeds in a heat-proof bowl, ladle in a cup of hot broth and leave to steep.
- Toast the rice flour in a frying pan until nutty in aroma and just starting to turn a light brown.
Cook the vegetables
- Into the boiling broth, drop in the cabbage wedges and cook for about ten minutes. Scoop out and transfer to a bowl. Cool.
- Add the cut sitaw to the broth. Cook for ten minutes, scoop out and transfer to the bowl with the cabbage.
- Cook the eggplant slices in the broth for five minutes (do not overcook!), scoop out and add to the bowl with the sitaw and cabbage.
Make the peanut sauce
- Transfer the rice flour to a bowl.
- Strain the annatto water, add to the rice flour and mix to make a paste.
- Take half a cup of hot broth, pour into another heat-proof bowl and stir in the peanut butter until fully incorporated.
- Stir the rice flour-annatto paste into the peanut butter until blended.
- Pour the mixture into a pan set over medium heat.
- Ladle in the hot broth, half a cup at a time, while stirring constantly. How much broth you need to add depends on how thick you want your sauce. Stop adding broth when you have reached the consistency that you prefer.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Taste the sauce and add enough patis to create a good balance of flavors.
Reheat the bagnet
- Heat enough cooking oil in a frying pan to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Reheat the bagnet (or lechon kawali) until ultra crispy.
Assemble the bagnet kare-kare
- Cut the bagnet into portions and arrange in a bowl surrounded by the cooked cabbage, eggplant and sitaw.
- Ladle in the peanut sauce.
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