Sometimes we seek comfort in a bowl of soup. In this case, a 4+ hour slow-cooked beef bulalo that gurgled away on the stove while we puttered around with gingerbread, cookie dough and other kitchen duties. I have featured a similar recipe before, here, and a Cebuano-styled one here, or this “more-ish” version here, but this is an upgraded version that is sure to please most soupies…
I started with 5 pieces of Australian beef shank, rinsed then blanched in hot water to remove some of the impurities. Then we put it in a large heavy enameled pot, covered with water, and let it gurgle over low heat for some 4 hours or so, until the meat was really soft, softer than I have ever gotten it before. This was noting but beef and water. Season later as the salt may actually help to toughen the meat if introduced earlier rather than later. Keep the lid slightly askew so the broth boils down and the flavor is concentrated a bit. However, even at the end of 4 hours, the broth wasn’t flavorful enough, so I added two cans of beef broth with no added MSG. Then season generously with salt, a tablespoon or two of fish sauce and a tablespoon of soy sauce. Add freshly cracked black pepper, some sliced tomatoes (unusual for bulalo, but adds color and flavor) and onions and let this gurgle for another 10-15 minutes. Add the corn, then the cabbage and other greens if using them. Serve piping hot.
This bulalo was SUPERB. And oddly, even better the day after as the flavors melded even more and the cabbage actually tasted meaty. We serve this with lime or kalamansi, patis and chopped chilies on the side for sawsawan. We a couple of foreign friends over for dinner and they happily scooped out the fabulous bone marrow and enjoyed it on toast with lots of salt. Notice how much marrow is still intact, despite over four hours in gurgling liquid. I had this with way too much rice, thank you. :)