Mighty Meaty

Bulalo stew

casaveneracion.com Bulalo stew

Cook it the traditional way as a soup with an assortment of vegetables or cook it the radical way as a steak with lots of onion rings. Either way, bulalo will taste great. Bulalo is a cross cut of beef shank. To be more precise, in Filipino cooking, it is the bone and the bone marrow from a cross cut of the beef shank. Normally, there would be very little meat attached to the bone. If you’re just after the flavor and richness of the bone and the marrow for making a clear soup or some beef stock, well, the little meat will do. But why stop with a clear soup or stock when a better cross cut of the shank, with all the meat, can turn the bulalo into a real meat dish? I have used bulalo to make a steak dish and it was great. I decided to go a step farther with my bulalo experiment. I made it into a Spanish-style stew for lunch today.

Ingredients :

1 large or 2 medium-sized bulalo (cross cuts of beef shank)
1 whole garlic
1 whole onion
1 bay leaf
8-10 peppercorns
a bunch of leeks
2-3 potatoes
1 carrot
a cup of sweet peas
2 pimientoes
1 tbsp. of finely minced garlic
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp. of chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
3 tbsps. of olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 c. of tomato paste
salt and pepper

Cooking procedure :

Place the bulalo in a large casserole and cover with water. Add the whole garlic, onion, bay lead, peppercorns, leeks and some salt. Bring to a boil, skimming off scum as it rises. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Lift with a large slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Cover and set aside.

Strain the broth and set aside.

Peel and cut the potatoes and carrot into 1-inch cubes. Core and deseed the pimientoes and chop coarsely.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the chopped onion and pimientoes and cook for a few minutes. Add the basil, sweet peas, cubed carrot and potatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tomato paste and pour in some beef broth. Use more or less depending on how thick you want your sauce. It won’t hurt to start with a rather thin sauce since the liquid will be reduced further after simmering. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully lower the cooked bulalo into the sauce, pushing the vegetables to the side to make some space for them. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are done.

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