Bulalo is a cross cut of the beef shank with the bone marrow. Picadillo is a soup dish with minced beef and usually with cubed chayote. I have a more interesting way of cooking picadillo though–I use a combination of cubed chayote, potatoes and carrots. It was something I “invented” a couple of years ago and that’s how we have been enjoying picadillo at home ever since (recipe).
Now, what’s this bulalo picadillo all about? It’s basically the same picadillo except that I used whole cross cuts of beef shanks.
Instead of cutting the meat into cubes before boiling, I pressure-cooked the whole cross cuts of beef shanks. I cooled them then I carefully removed the bones without disturbing the bone marrow. I cut the meat into 2-inch cubes and went on to complete the dish.
The real difference of course, or should I say bonus, is the bone marrow.
about a kilo of bulalo (cross cuts of beef shank, bone in)
2 whole garlics
2 whole onions
3-4 plump and juicy tomatoes
1 large carrot
2 tbsps. of cooking oil
Place the bulalo in a thick bottomed cooking pan (I used a pressure cooker). Pour enough water to cover. Add a whole garlic and a whole onion and season with patis. Sprinkle the peppercorns on top. Simmer or pressure cook until tender. Transfer the meat to a plate; strain the broth.
Cool the meat then carefully separate the meat from the bone. Set the bone aside. Take care not to let the marrow slip out. Cut the meat into cubes (as small or as large as you want).
Mince the remaining garlic. Slice the remaining onion. Dice the tomatoes. Peel and core the chayote and cut into cubes the same size as the beef. Peel and cut the carrot and potatoes in the same size.
Heat the cooking oil. Saute the garlic and onion until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until the tomatoes start to turn soft. Pour in the strained broth. Adjust the seasoning. Add the chayote cubes and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the carrot cubes and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the potato cubes and the meat and cook until the vegetables are done. I add the vegetables in that order because the chayote takes longest to cook.
To serve, ladle the soup, vegetables and meat into a soup tureen or large bowl. Arrange the reserved beef bone(s) with the marrow on top, at the center. Pour hot broth over the bone to reheat the marrow. Serve at once with a dipping sauce of kalamansi and patis on the side.