For today we will be posting a dish is called Kare-kare, a popular stew in Philippines that is served on special occasions like Feast Days (fiesta), Birthdays and family gatherings. The dish’s defining ingredient is its peanut sauce which is made out of peanut butter, ground toasted rice and annatto seed extract this is then cooked with variety of local vegetables and meat (usually ox tail or ox tripe). It’s a bit pale in taste compared to other rich Philippine dishes that’s why it is often always accompanied with a salty shrimp paste called bagoong.
This dish probably had originated from Pampanga as it is really popular there and every household in the said province offer this as their specialty and have their own better versions that stand out among the others but there are also some suggestions that it originated from the Southern island of Mindanao where this dish is popular as well, it was said that this is one of the regal dishes of the Moro elite who settled in Manila even before the Spanish arrival. Another suggestion says that it has a Japanese influence as the name “Kare-Kare” is derived from the Japanese word “Kare” which is a Japanese word for curry. So where this dish did really came from? Well I don’t really know but most experts say it was from Pampanga also called the culinary capital of the Philippines.
I guess this is not for everyone due a lot of people has allergies over nuts and if you don’t have one you might freak out with the part of beef used. But if you are adventurous in food, this is a must try especially for those who loves peanut butter, you will feel good about this dish.
1 kg ox tail
1 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup ground toasted rice
1 large red onions, diced
1 whole garlic, minced
1/4 cup annatto seeds soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water
3 tbsp brown sugar or any natural sweetener of choice
4 cups beef stock
Freshly ground black pepper
Bagoong (fermented shrimp paste)
3 pieces eggplant, sliced
1 bundle string beans, sliced
1 bunch Baby Bok Choy
1. In a pot add oil and sauté onion and garlic, once onions turn translucent remove then set it aside.
2. Now using the same pot add ox tail then brown all sides.
3. Pour the beef stock and a cup of water into the pot then bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours or until meat is tender (Add water if needed).
4. Turn of the heat then remove the ox tail from the pot and leaving all the liquid, set ox tail aside.
5. Add sugar, ground toasted rice, peanut butter and water from soaked annatto seeds into the pot then mix thoroughly until it’s even in consistency. Turn on the heat to medium then let it boil
6. Once sauce is boiling, turn heat to low then add the ox tail and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper.
7. Now cook the vegetables separately by blanching string beans, eggplants and bok choy.
8. Pour stew on a deep bowl and add cooked vegetables on the side. Serve with bagoong.
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