Friday, October 23, 2009

Nilagang Baka (Beef Stew/Soup)

My near-constant craving for soup probably has something to do with the encroaching cold and the cold/cough I've been fighting off. I wanted something nourishing but not bland, and so riffed on this recipe for an old comfort food staple. Prep took a little longer than usual - partially because I opted to brown the beef, and I've never been the world's fastest mincer - but was easily accomplished during innings 2-6 of this sad-making game.
  • 3 tbsp. vegetable or peanut oil
  • 2 lbs. beef, cut into 1-1/2 to 2 in. cubes
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cups water (not enough for the soupiness I wanted - will add 2 or so cups more next time)
  • 4 tbsp. patis (will try more next time)
  • 1 heaping tsp. black peppercorns
  • 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1-1/2 to 2 in. cubes
  • 1 small cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 bok choy, chopped (alas, didn't have this)
Place oil in a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Brown beef on all sides (about 5 min.). Remove from pot and reserve.

Add onions and garlic. Saute till soft (3-5 min.), making sure to scrape the pan and free the fond-y goodness from the browned meat.

Return beef to pot. Add water, patis and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover, and simmer till beef is tender (1 hour, maybe more).

Add potatoes; return to a boil, then to a simmer till potatoes are nearly done (10-15 min.).

Add cabbage; return to a boil, then simmer till everything's done (10 or so min.).

Correct seasoning if necessary, then serve hot over lots of white rice.

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