25 Feb2009


I have never made a Pinoy style kaldereta (baka or kambing/beef or goat) before. And I wasn’t totally thrilled with the outcome of this recipe, say a 7.5/10.0 so I haven’t added the “a la Marketman” to it yet. It’s been almost a year since I made a fairly decent beef mechado, if a shortcut version, without the actual strip of fat inserted into the beef, post here. And the comments on that post tried to differentiate between a kaldereta and a mechado. I suppose a mechado is a form of kaldereta, with slightly different ingredients. A kaldereta, I am presuming, refers to a stew in a kaldereta or kettle/stewing pot, most likely a cast iron one originally. At any rate, I saw a whole bunch of beef with bones at the grocery with the tag kaldereta cut so I thought I would experiment… In my mind, and according to some of my cookbooks, a kaldereta (most usually made with goat’s meat, but now more and more with readily available beef, is a tomato-y stew with liver spread or smashed liver and potatoes, carrots, olives?, etc. Personally, I was aiming for an incredibly melt in your mouth soft meat in lots of sauce that despite the presence of potatoes, I was going to eat with rice…


So I stuck all of the beef with bones in a large enameled pot, added water and let this barely simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat was very, very tender. Do not let it reach a boil, just the faintest murmur on the surface of the water. In retrospect, buying this “kaldereta cut” at the grocery was a bit of a dumb, albeit probably more authentic, idea. It is filled with bone shards and while the meat itself turned tender after a long simmer, for me this wasn’t the ideal way to make a kaldereta that not only tasted good, but looked good and was easy to eat as well. I am sure the bones added to the flavor of the broth, though only a little of it was used in the final sauce of the kaldereta. I removed the beef and bones from the pot, boiled down the broth until it was just half the volume and set this aside to add some of it to the final dish. In another pot, I sauteed onions, garlic, then a few minutes later added chopped canned tomatoes (I consciously chose to go with canned tomatoes as opposed to tomato sauce, and that might NOT have been the best idea). I also added canned liver spread, a cup or more of stock, and some soy sauce, a move similar to chrisb’s recipe for morcon I featured two Christmases ago. I let this simmer for a while until it thickened a bit. Added in the beef and bones, some chopped red peppers, small potatoes and carrots and let this simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with lots of rice.


This kaldereta was good, but the sauce wasn’t thick and coating all of the meat and veggies, instead it was a little too soup-like. Mind you, two days later, the leftovers heated up brilliantly. The best part about this dish was the meat. INCREDIBLY TENDER. I like the results of boiling it separately, but I fret that precious flavor was lost by not stewing it all together for hours. I omitted the olives you normally find in kaldereta as I generally don’t like cooked olives. I did add some sliced chorizo bilbao. If you have any tips to help me along towards a real top-notch kaldereta, I would appreciate your comments. And if it turns out brilliantly, who knows, I might even try it with one of our “grass cutter” goats… :)



  1. Mimi says:

    try getting the beef from tagaytay first, when we used to live there i befriended the butchers at mahogany market and they tell me that tagaytay/cavite cattle eat pineapple trimmings, so lasang matamis daw…ask first if they still are still fed pineapple and i hope they tell the truth…i used to ask for pang-kaldereta cut and bahala na sila.

    some tips when i make my calderata: for every 250 g of beef cubed, add 1/2 bottle of san miguel beer, a little splash of worcestershire and soy sauce, and try to marinate at least 4 hours or overnight in the ref. when ready to simmer, add a large onion or some leeks too with laurel leaf and 1 beef cube + more water to cover. simmer until tender, make take 1 1/2 – 2 hours or more depending on meat, then remove meat, salt and pepper the meat a little here, and set aside broth.

    tantsa method: saute lots of garlic and onions in olive oil, then add the meat. push meat to one side and add tomato paste + brown sugar to “fry”, then add peanut butter and reno liver spread – around 1 Tbsp each per 250 grams of meat. add the broth to cover. simmer until thickened. add pitted olives, grated cheese of choice or whatever is in the ref. i don’t have exact measurement because sometimes more or less what i have left is what i use. then pre-fry the cubed potatoes and salt, then add to meat stew to garnish…sometimes i add carrots and bell peppers, but sometimes not, if you do add the carrots, add them when you think the meat is almost ready and simmer with sauce a few minutes more. pre-fry bell peppers like the potatoes and use as garnish. salt and pepper to taste before serving. sorry no exact measurements, but i hope this helps you.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:03 pm


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  3. roelm says:

    Hi Marketman,
    The book by Gene Gonzalez(?), Cucina Sulipena, contains a recipe for kalderetang kambing. It is a somewhat more luxurious version than usual. I am not qualified to judge though whether it has been heavily modified or if it conforms to the classic definition. The book contains recipes that were taken from the repertoire of the households of Sulipan, Pamapanga. Have you taken a look at their kaldereta recipe?

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:29 pm

  4. Mimi says:

    p.s. i forgot to say that depending on who is going to eat it, i do add siling labuyo/chilli padi – 3 or more, stems removed – while sauteing cooked beef if it is for my husband and his friends kasi they like it really spicy. if for family, siyempre walang sili kasi baka di kainin ng kids. also, i have used red wine or sake instead of beer if no san mig available. so up to you…but i still like the beer.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:33 pm

  5. siopao says:

    Oh my! Temptation, temptation. Imagine reading this beefy post after a whole day of fasting and abstinence. I just might stay awake til midnight to get my meaty fix

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:24 pm

  6. sister says:

    Try it this way sometime: Ask for beef brisket, first cut is leaner, second cut fatter and better for stew. If you use goat or lamb you probably will get another cut like the leg, ask butcher for some neck bones for additional flavour and to thicken the sauce. Cube meat, marinate overnight in salt and pepper. This step can be ommitted.
    Wipe with paper towels to dry. Brown, a few pieces at a time, in a heavy saurcepan with several tbsp. of pork fat or oil over high heat. Remove and put into a heavy rondo like a le creuset. Pour some of the fat off, and saute diced leeks, onions and garlic until slightly brown, add several tbsp. of tomato paste to caramelize, do not burn. Add some red wine and simmer a few minutes to burn off alcohol and scrape all, including the browned fond at the bottom into the pot with the meat. Add enough good beef broth (homemade if possible otherwise canned never bouillion cube) halfway up the meat. Cover and simmer gently for 2 hours or more until completely tender, either on top of the stove or in a 275F oven. Remove meat and skim some fat off, add potatoes and carrots, mashed liver if you like for goat meat, thyme, bay leaf and a little oregano, red pepper flakes, check salt. Plese no soy sauce, use a little Lee and Perrins or Maggi sauce to deepen the flavour. Cook over medium heat uncovered to reduce sauce, you can also cook veggies separately in water if you want them to retain pristine looks. Return meat to pot. Refrigerate overnight, reheat gently the next day and serve.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:34 pm

  7. Ellen says:

    Kalderata is one of my favorite dishes to cook. And, I think that what distinguishes the kaldereta from all the other saucy, tomato-ey Filipino dishes is the chili added to it, particularly, the siling labuyo.

    For kaldereta worthy of my husband’s praises, I usually use lots of fresh tomatoes. Marinating the beef in soy sauce and kalamansi also makes a lot of difference.

    As I learned from my mother, I cook kaldereta by first searing the marinated beef, then setting it aside. Thereafter, I saute native garlic, onion and the fresh tomatoes (I use 1 kilo of tomatoes for every 1 1/2 kilo of beef). I then add the beef after simmering the garlic, onion and tomatoes for at least 10 minutes. Water is not added to the mixture because the liquid in the fresh tomatoes is enough to sustain the beef (as well as the other ingredients)until it is tender. Just make sure to stir the bottom of the pot every so often and use low to medium heat.

    After the beef is tender, I add potatoes, green bell pepper, carrots, olives, liver spread, grated cheese, salt, ground black pepper, and sugar for a little sweetness (sugar will also balance the flavor should the fresh tomatoes happen to be on the sour side). Of course, chopped siling labuyo is added but only 5 minutes before turning off the heat.

    The sauce should be thick due to the non-addition of water.

    @Mimi, I like the idea of beer in kaldereta. Will try it next time. Thanks for sharing your kaldereta cooking tips.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:53 pm

  8. PanchoA says:

    As always, you’ve done a brilliant job of tempting us to revise our timeworn recipes.

    You might want to try the clay pot again, as we normally use a crock pot to slow cook this dish. Maybe that “thickens” the sauce.

    I really have to get a bike. Ever since I got hooked to this blog, I’ve probably gained thirty pounds just experimenting. No complaints MM. Mea culpa.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:58 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    roelm, gene gonzalez does have a kaldereta recipe, based on an early recipe from his families archives, I presume… and heavily dependent on wine and brandy, which makes it very similar to European stews… I think the kaldereta version I was trying for was a more populist one… less of a beef bourguinon like concoction… mimi, I thought about adding siling labuyo to add zing… hmmm. siopao, now that you mention it, I actually didn’t eat any meat today… Ellen, thanks for those thoughts, it will definitely help in round 2. Pancho, YES, I will definitely try this in a palayok…

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:09 pm

  10. diday says:

    This is my brother’s style of cooking kaderetang kanding. He loves to cook and is often invited to cook for close friends’s family parties.

    Cut goat meat into cubes. Mix flour and pepper together in a plastic bag. Toss meat in this to coat. Heat oil and brown meat a little at a time. Transfer meat to a cacerola. Using the same pan, sauté garlic, onions and add to the cacerola. Mix water, stock cube, and tomato paste with pan juices and bring to the boil. Pour over meat. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add bayleaf, sugar, pineapple slices, capsicum, and black beans. Cook for a further 30 minutes, season with freshly ground black pepper and salt.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 8:34 pm

  11. lojet says:

    How about frying the beef in a little oil and then add butter and flour to make a roux. Saute the spices in a separate pan then add all to the pot with the roux and continue cooking with all the other caldereta ingredients.

    If you want thick sauce, you can try it his way:

    I can see another quest for the ultimate kaldereta in the horizon much in the way of the leche flan, hehe.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 9:00 pm

  12. kulasa says:

    I usually do lamb or beef. Sister is right, use briskets for beef, one lean and one with fat. Marinate overnight with just salt and pepper. It’s basically the same except I set aside the beef and brown the potatoes in the fat. Then take out the potatoes and saute the onions, garlic, tomato paste but I don’t use wine, just beef broth. I also add bay leaf, carrots, chorizo, mashed liver (I think this helps thicken the sauce too, several friends use liver spread), green and red bell peppers. About 3/4 of the way I add the olives (a bit later so they don’t get really squishy and soft) and potatoes. Season with salt and Perrins. I don’t make it spicy but you can add sili if you want it hot.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 9:13 pm

  13. em says:

    Thanks to all your kaldereta tips. I’m learning a lot here. What’s the difference between using fresh tomatoes from canned tomatoes in cooking kaldereta? Will fresh tomatoes spoil faster than canned?

    Feb 25, 2009 | 10:34 pm

  14. star says:

    After trying out so many recipes that doesn’t give me the results i want, i made up my own version. authentic or not, this is the way it works for me. :) — what i do is cook the beef separately until tender (often using a pressure cooker). Saute onions and garlic, add beef, liver spread and tomato paste. Let it simmer for a while then i add some of the stock, tomato sauce (or fresh tomatoes) and seasoning (black pepper, salt and a little soysauce). Once it starts to simmer/boil, i add the veggies (potatoes, carrots, bell pepper). I add chorizo bilbao and grated quickmelt cheese just before the potatoes are done.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 10:56 pm

  15. zena says:

    This is going to sound funny, but I ALWAYS thought that kaldereta contained gata! Hehehe. I checked all the previous comments but no one mention coconut milk, pardon if I have missed any. That, to me, is what differentiates kaldereta from Mechado. Leastways, kakang gata/coconut milk was added at the end to provide another dimension of flavor and creaminess without being too nakakaumay. Grated cheese and chilli is added depending on who’s doing the cooking. A fair bit of red capsicum and we use salt instead of soy sauce. Then the usual suspects of carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomato sauce.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:32 pm

  16. Mari says:


    just wondering… do you still use MSG in all your tests? I know it makes a difference in taste, but somehow here in the US we have eliminated using MSG and anything that has MSG in it. I have no allergies but find that if the food does have it, I get drowsy.


    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:32 pm

  17. Lizzy says:

    My mom’s caldereta recipe is very, very similar to Sister’s. The meat is browned in olive oil (I also like to use brisket and sometimes I’ll add short ribs or other bone-y cuts.) If you don’t want to add olives, this step adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the flavor. Also, cooking it the day before you plan to serve it seems to be the key to developing that rich flavor.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:00 am

  18. Sheryl says:

    My, my. What a fun coincidence! We also had this for dinner. I originally meant to cook it for lunch but I didn’t have time to cook the meat (short ribs) to tender. I finished cooking it at past 1PM.

    I based my recipe from Kulinarya and for a once-in-a-blue-moon guest to the kitchen, this turned out really good, as hubby officially welcomed me to his lair :-D Ditto on the soup-y like sauce, I used organic tomatoes, carrots and potatoes; tomato sauce and canned liver spread, but used EVOO and butter for sauteing. Also put in ginisa mix for added flavor. :-) I didn’t have chorizo but will try to include it next time.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:05 am

  19. chrisb says:

    Try dredging the meat in flour and browning in hot oil. And cook the meat with the tomatoes- essentially with all the ingredients of the final sauce, just thinned down a bit to extend it so it covers the meat. Add the potatoes and carrots later so they don’t turn to mush. Cooking the meat with the sauce will make a huge difference. About an hour before you finish cooking, remove the cover to allow the sauce to thicken, then skim off the fat floating on top. Hope that helps… =)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:32 am

  20. chrisb says:

    btw, try a cut of meat with a lot of litid that melts down to a good gelatinous texture. That’ll give body to your sauce as well. Kalitiran(?) or even shank meat I imagine would be good. Just put everything in the pot and let the flavors meld together. Cooking different components separately is too chi chi and, I infer, not what you wanted for this dish.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:42 am

  21. betty q. says:

    MM, I concur with Sister! This is one of those dishes just like adobo that is BEST eaten the next day! Even better….while you are at it, make a whole kaboodle, cool thorougly and pack in freezer containers and freeze for one of those “spur of the moment lunches” for unexpected kapit-bahays!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:53 am

  22. Pandora says:

    I once saw someone put ordinary grated cheese and button mushrooms in the caldereta. Maybe the cheese will help thicken the sauce and probably add some milky flavor to it.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 1:15 am

  23. Joanie says:

    yum..that reminds me of my mom’s caldereta. Let me give her a ring, maybe she can make for me.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 1:21 am

  24. Ona says:

    That recipe is so close to my mom’s Beef Bourguignon recipe, sans the soy sauce and other Asian ingredients of course (I think of the red wine as the soy sauce whenever she mixes it in)

    In regards to thickening the sauce:

    Maybe using canned tomato sauce? With my mom’s recipe, there are no bones in the beef that we use so it’s easy to dredge the meat in flour, fry it then cook it with the rest of the ingredients simmering for a long time till tender – the flour thickens the sauce, but since you’re tasked with having to boil the kaldereta meat for more flavor (bones)then I guess coating the meat in flour won’t work.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 2:09 am

  25. jdawgg says:

    Hello Again Marketman,

    Kudos to you and your crew for a perfect setting on the No Reservation show by Mr. Bourdain. So far I had watch it at least half a dozen X’s. Just a little comment for the above dish, it should be called “Bakareta” instead of calling it “Kaldereta”. Reason being is the first 2 syllable “kalde” refers to kalding which is in Ilocano, it means goat. Since beef or baka is being used in this dish, perhaps it should be called “Bakareta”. Please let me know if it’s appropriate. Thank you.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 2:32 am

  26. ykmd says:

    Hi MM,
    I add finely chopped onions and bell peppers (both red and green- I use my food processor) while simmering the beef, and find that it makes a big difference in the thickness of the sauce. I also add bell pepper wedges towards the end along with mushrooms, potatoes etc.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 2:50 am

  27. mykulit says:

    I like to use beef shank for kaldereta, you can make it very tender, and the meat maintains it’s shape. I also like the fact that the shank has some “litid” which is yummy… I follow my Mom’s recipe, sauteeing the meat in garlic, onion, diced red/green bell peppers, fresh tomatoes and liver spread then simmer it with soy sauce, pineapple juice or clear soda until tender. Just add a little tomato paste and grated cheese towards the end, with red bell pepper strips. I like to fry the potatoes and just add them before serving. To make it spicy I add some red pepper flakes.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 5:50 am

  28. butsoy says:

    i know this will sound weird but i put a little bit of patis to my mechado/caldereta/beef stew as my salt. i don’t know for some reason it makes the dish so tasty and it doesn’t give it a fishy taste. it’s a good alternative for flavor enhancers such as msg , accent which I had stopped using….

    Feb 26, 2009 | 6:06 am

  29. ConnieC says:

    Must really be nice living next to BettyQ and showing up just before mealtime. Hmmm.

    Like adobo we have every version of caldereta which never tastes the same….depending on who the cook is.
    Got this recipe from a now deceased friend who is assured to be remembered each time I cook the dish. Her recipe (from one of Philippine cookbooks I believe)is uncomplicated, tastes good and goes this way, (with a little bit of my variation from the original): short ribs of beef butcher sliced thru the bones in 2 inch pieces. Sprinkle generously with worcestershire sauce ( Lee and Perrins). Marinate for half hour or so.
    Saute or lightly fry some chunks of chorizo de bilbao or pepperoni in a skillet and remove after extracting the fat. Brown meat in batches in fat.Add pineapple juice and tomato sauce to cover meat, throw back the chorizo or pepperoni and heat to boil scraping the bottom of the pan in the process. Transfer the meat in a deeper pot, cover and simmer till tender… a good 3-4 hours and until liquid is reduced or reduce liquid after meat is tender. Add grated cheddar cheese and correct seasoning with patis.You may add potatoes or olives at some point but it is good the way it is. For the health conscious,like me who hate seeing floating oil, skim off fat before adding the cheese. Never fails.

    and hi to MM,( watched your you tube segment of NR at 1 AM and got me drooling I could not go back to sleep, great job for a detail freak like you) bettyQ and San from Mindoro. Oh, got an email for you ladies, if you care to visit your mailboxes in between your postings, BettyQ.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 6:48 am

  30. virgie says:

    I think the secret of Kaldereta is in using chicken liver (boil then mash) instead of liver spread. About 1/4 kl. per
    1 – 1-1/2 kls of beef. You can also pour in some milk and grated cheese for added richness in flavor. Brown meat in batches using olive oil.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 8:18 am

  31. Marketman says:

    jdawgg, I always wondered about this… as to me kaldereta was always supposed to be made iwth goat… but then beef became much more popular in recent years. However, I would be more inclined to believe the term kaldereta is more closely linked to caldereta or caldero… the spanish term for a kettle used to make stews in… So my guess is it may have started out being referred to as caldereta meaning a western style stew of meat, and later, maybe the ilocanos added on the lore of the kalde up front on the word… of course I am not a linguist so I wouldn’t really know for sure… Thank you everyone for all these wonderful ideas and versions. I am leaning towards a more classic slow cook in one pot versus the “chi-chi” version chrisb is referring to. And because i am after the “pinoy” twist to this, I am moving away from a more western take with wine and leaning towards the version with a bit more local ingredients including the liver paste, soy and possibly patis… As for the queso de bola I sometimes see in recipes… hmmm. :) Oh, and in answer to a comment/question, I DO NOT USE ANY MSG IN OUR HOME COOKING AT ALL. I once had a soup in Cebu prepared by a crew member that had vetsin, and cebuano lechoneros use MSG, but otherwise, I DO NOT USE MSG.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 8:21 am

  32. PanchoA says:

    Since you’re planning on doing the liver paste thing, I recall one thing that we used to do with our caldereta and afritada.

    Our cook would fry up chicken liver and gizzards and then, pass them through a food processor.

    That would be the paste that she would incorporate into the stew. Haven’t done that in quite a while, but I remember that the taste was incredibly good!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 8:50 am

  33. Jel says:

    awww, sad, can’t eat caldereta because of my uric acid, how I wish I can eat caldereta again. my cousin, who is a drunkard, perfected this recipe, he even tried DOG meat..hehehe, they love caldereta as “pulutan”

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:12 am

  34. Mimi says:

    mm: use Reno brand liver spread only…i have tried with other brands and Reno has better flavour, can’t pinpoint why so…also use local toyo/ soy sauce, i am endorsing silver swan, mas pinoy lasa. happy kalderexperimenting!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:39 am

  35. Maria says:

    If your sauce turns out too thin and it’s too late to make a roux, why not add some beurre blanc? It’s a nice butter and flour masse that you add to stew to thicken it. My beurre blanc is 1 part butter to 2 parts flour. Knead until just well incorporated and add as much as needed to the stew.

    Sorry if this already came up in the earlier posts. I didn’t read all the comments — and I guess I should. :)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:54 am

  36. Maria says:

    Oops, sorry! That’s beurre manie. Not beurre blanc.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 9:59 am

  37. CecileJ says:

    The suggestion to fry the potato wedges before adding to the kaldereta is a good one as gives the caldereta a nice full bodied flavor and also prevents the potatoes from getting too mushy. I also use olive oil (and olives) and cheese. Oh, yummmmm!!!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 10:19 am

  38. dragon says:

    This was my late mom’s signature dish. Anyone and everyone who would have to request a meat dish from her would be this. For special occasions she would add olives but it’s not too popular with her diners (hehehe-we’re not chopis: ‘chopisticated’). She skipped browning in flour but used, believe it or not, the kaldereta mix for her thickener. Also used tomato sauce, tomato paste for flavor. Then the usual potato, carrots. Rarely used liver/liver spread. Then use knorr w mashed siling labuyo as sawsawan.

    I miss her….

    Feb 26, 2009 | 10:19 am

  39. titashi says:

    in our family, we also add some green peas in our kaldereta. no soy sauce though, just patis, salt and pepper, and chilies (though sometimes omitted for the kids). we also use reno liver spread, it is much tastier than the other brands :)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 10:42 am

  40. jdawgg says:

    Thank you Marketman

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:00 am

  41. aileen says:

    the kaldereta my mother in law cooks makes use of coconut milk.
    At first when I heard about it, it doesn’t sound right at all. But this is her specialty and everybody who tastes it, raves about it.

    Normally we sear the beef first and then saute it with onions and garlic and then boil the beef first. When it a little bit tender, we add the coconut milk and let it boil before we add the liver spread, and the veggies. The potatoes and carrots have to be fried first.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:09 am

  42. jamie says:

    My aunt who is popular for her kaldereta gave me her recipe. First she uses kenchie cut that has some litid that melts in your mouth when eaten… Garlic and onions are sauteed and then the meat (seasoned with salt and pepper), browned slightly. She then adds ROYAL TRU ORANGE and very very gently boil the meat until tender. Then tomato paste is added (no tomato sauce) to thicken the sauce. Then she puts in bell pepper and grated cheese as a final flavoring. It’s so carinderia-ish kaldereta. But it’s one of our family’s favorite dish.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:22 am

  43. jadedfork says:

    MM, an alternative to the roux would be to puree some of the carrots and mix it back with the sauce.

    btw, i use beef short ribs for my caldereta. they’re a little bit fattier than the other cuts, but that makes them more delicious in my book…

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:15 pm

  44. bagito says:

    I agree w/ Zena, my sister and I were cooking caldereta for a family gathering one time and it wasn’t turning out to be malapot. As a last minute desperate solution, we put coconut milk in it and voila, malapot na “bakareta” without sacrificing that kaldereta taste. And of course, lots of hot chili pepper action!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:15 pm

  45. carina says:

    we add coconut milk to our caldereta. and lots of chili (siling labuyo) :)

    Feb 26, 2009 | 12:47 pm

  46. tulip says:

    Marketman, if I quite remember it right, I think I have sent you a family recipe of Kalderetang Kambing, which we also used with beef or even chicken (maybe 2 years ago). Potatoes, carrots, olives, etc are optional in that recipe.

    Anyway, just like sister said. Instead of soy sauce, used Lea and Perrins. Use bunch of garlic and onion, some butter and sear the meat. To thicken, use some bread crumbs. We usually use any cut of meat, but to use ribs or neck bones might come out more flavorful.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 1:04 pm

  47. betty q. says:

    This is my “katamaran “way of making kaldereta…short ribs…more flavourful…in a pot, the meat, chopped onions (a lot!), some light soy, bay leaves (scrunched up,) frshly cracked pepper, a touch of vinegar and a touch of demerara sugar. Let it sit for a few hours. Just before cooking I add a can of stewed tomatoes. BOIL and simmer it to death in crock pot…Then add cubed browned potatoes, sliced sweet red and orange peppers and then olives and a few pinches of chili flakes. It has just the right consistency without thickeners!!! I usually make this the day before. Mas masarap kainin the next day.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 1:04 pm

  48. tulip says:

    If you wanna try the recipe, let me know. It’s a Batangas kaldereta version, not the usual Kapampangan one.

    Also, we chop the chorizo, add some pickle relish when sauteing or searing the ribs/meat. Pineapple juice is used to tenderize.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 1:27 pm

  49. Marketman says:

    tulip, I lost it in my voluminous and disorganized mail folder. Yes, please send the recipe to me and I will try it… thanks!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 1:40 pm

  50. sonny sj says:


    As with Zena, it’s kaldereta with kakang gata for our household. it gets better as it is re-heated. the sauce is to die for lalo na pag magmamantika na yun gata. and as bagito said, add lots of hot chili pepper. kanin pa nga, please!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 2:03 pm

  51. Ging says:

    Hmmm I must have a bastardized recipe. My caldereta only has red wine and red/ green bell peppers. No tomato sauce. My recipe with beef, potatoes, carrots and tomato sauce is mechado…

    Feb 26, 2009 | 4:23 pm

  52. chungwan says:

    I wonder why people no longer “sangkucha / sengcocha” meat dishes before actually cooking them.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 4:35 pm

  53. pipdol says:

    same with chrisb, i use kalitiran it really melts in your mouth.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 4:39 pm

  54. iyoy says:

    it just struck me that most of the suggested procedures call for skimming off the oil/fat. makes sense from a “westernized” (no chauvinist offense intended)healthy eating standpoint. but there’s another version i have frequently come across which is swimming in fat after the tomato sauce straight from the can has been reduced after hours of simmering. this is the favored version for “inuman” sessions. i nominate that for the quinessential “filipino kaldereta.”

    Feb 26, 2009 | 4:50 pm

  55. chad says:

    Im with sonny and zena on this one- the gata is essential in my caldereta ensemble. A lot of people have forgotten this move, probably because putting in coconut milk makes the dish a lot more perishable unrefrigerated. People omit the gata especially when they cook caldereta intended for the fiesta, where food is cooked in large quantities and stays on the table quite longer. Oh ive heard of others bringing in that cream element with- of course, cream. Caldereta’s defining points from the mechado would be the gata and the hotness scale- bird’s eye chilies for me.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 7:21 pm

  56. alicia says:

    Wow, this post and all the comments that go with it are a keeper- I think we can come up with the ultimate kaldereta by trying some of these different ideas! Have you heard of shaved heart in kaldereta? I can’t remember if its pig or cow heart but I do recall having tried a kaldereta wherein they shaved an animal heart into the sauce- maybe instead of the liver spread? I will have to ask my friend again- all I really remember was that it was really good!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 10:13 pm

  57. Divine G says:

    As I have said before when we had a diversity meal at work the Filipinos chose to serve Lumpiang Shanghai and Beef Kaldereta and all nationalities at work liked the Beef Kaldereta and it was new to them. They are only familiar with pancit and of course the lumpiang prito(meat or vegetable). We had this last December, yeah, just recently. Now you’re talking about doing the kaldereta and everybody is having their own recipe and suggestions to you. This is what I really like in you and your writings you try to experiment on lots of things and you don’t stop until you perfect it to your liking and other people, too, because you ask your people to taste it. The people who give their suggestions to you are being listened too as well. By these us people who don’t normally cook learn a lot of things from everybody. THANK YOU……

    Feb 26, 2009 | 11:59 pm

  58. jen says:

    Hi Marketman,
    I’ve been cooking kaldereta for several years now and my friends love it. In our town fiesta, this dish is a hit every year. Here’s how i cook it ..
    Marinate the beef or pork spareribs in soy sauce and kalamansi
    Saute garlic in butter + olive oil till golden brown, then add onions, then add soy sauce, a few tablespoons of tomato sauce, pickles and liver spread (i use reno)and sili (green sili & labuyo), then add the marinated meat. Just let it cook for awhile so that the meat could absorb the flavor of the other ingridients,then you could add a little water when it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a pepper to taste. Simmer until the meat gets tender and the liquid is reduced. Then add the remaining tomato sauce and peanut butter. This thickens the kaldereta sauce. Then add grated cheese. You could add some carrots and potato so that it would have some veggies. Sorry I could not provide the proportion of the ingridients as I go by tasting it. Hope you could try this out.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:09 am

  59. Anbu says:

    Kaldereta, Mechado, Menudo, Pochero . All so similar yet uniquely different. All delicious if done right of course.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:21 am

  60. ariel says:

    Kaldereta is best cooked in a crock pot. Goat meat is still the best. Put a small can of liver spread to make the sauce thicker. One time i was slow cooking goat caldereta in a crock pot and fell asleep. My sister in laws thought it was beef stew and liked it. They did not know it’s goat meat because I put some saffron in the mixture.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:31 am

  61. Cookie says:

    This is great! I can never make my Kaldereta right. Mechado I’ve really well, Kaldereta an enigma. I have to confess, don’t be mad – but I have used Mama Sita’s Kaldereta mix (I can hear screaming somewhere!) – and it definitely was not the Kaldereta I was aiming for. I will try and use some of the recipes here. Thanks guys!

    Feb 27, 2009 | 3:00 am

  62. linda says:

    I definitely have to try some of the different versions of this dish in my Tagine as my palayok broke recently):

    Looking forward to Kaldereta ala Marketman!

    Feb 27, 2009 | 5:39 am

  63. Laura says:

    Great kaldereta tips! This is one of our favorite dishes. We cook it the same way, with paprika as well, although our beef kaldereta version has red bell pepper strips, olives (black or green), pan-fried potatoes and garbanzo beans. I sometimes add green peas for more color. It’s supposed to be spicy too. I think the addition of red bell pepper strips distinguishes it from the mechado [we only add pan-fried potatoes to this] and gives it that “spicy look”. Thanks for all the ideas!

    Feb 27, 2009 | 1:11 pm

  64. Marose says:

    Hi Marketman! I usually add grated cheese (parmesan) to my kaldereta. Last week, I used Velveeta (not sure if this is cheese though) and believe it or not, the result was a richer and creamier kaldereta.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 2:17 pm

  65. erch says:

    ive done kaldereta with both the mix and the no-mix version. and again, i think they have their own merits. but i think, this is one food that doesnt really benefit on the time saving features of the mix since you will still need time to let the meat tenderize–if you wanna save time, save some by using a pressure cooker, not a mix

    as for the no mix version, ive always made it a point to make a good broth–sear the meat first (something that’s quite alien to most pinoy homes) then add the liquid. next comes the spices, i like using smoked paprika, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg–i think the spices do a lot in making the stew really, really flavorful. now, if there could be alittle extra, i try to add chorizo bilbao or hungarian sausage–nice dimension and the spice is terrific.

    lastly, i think the real secret of kaldereta is like that of any other stew. it needs time, whether in terms of tenderizing the meat or letting the flavors meld and develop–a kaldereta will always be better the day or two after.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 6:42 pm

  66. zena says:

    Ging, I have to say that I chuckled when I read your comment. I thought “ang sosy naman ng kaldereta nya, may red wine.” Hahaha! Sounds more like a western beef stew. =)

    Feb 27, 2009 | 8:42 pm

  67. Ging says:


    Yes I think that recipe of mine is definitely a western bastard. The thing is that it’s the only caldereta I really know. I often see caldereta in parties but never eat it because of the potatoes and carrots. When I see those, mechado always comes to my mind. By the way, the recipe comes from my mama’s handwritten recipe notebook (where I also got the leche flan recipe using fresh milk and cream). My mama says those are her notes from her cooking classes way back in the 1940’s before she got married.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 9:17 pm

  68. teny says:


    I add keso de bola to thicken the sauce. But i usde tomato sauce and paste also. I also cook it using a pot on a charcoal grill .

    I heard someone has a different version wherein they cooked the meat in wine , I tried it but it didnt work for me.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 11:24 pm

  69. teny says:


    I add keso de bola to thicken the sauce. But i usde tomato sauce and paste also. I also cook it using a pot on a charcoal grill .

    I heard someone has a different version wherein they cooked the meat in wine , I tried it but it didnt work for me.

    Mar 1, 2009 | 11:24 pm

  70. misao says:

    hi MM! we put grated cheese to thicken the sauce and add some richness. and some bell peppers, as well.

    Mar 3, 2009 | 7:13 am

  71. cai says:

    My lola cooks her Caldereta in a palayok. The best ang Caldereta pag sa palayok niluto, it has this distinct taste. Sa crockpot iba..di mashadong malasa kahit anong ingredients pa idagdag.

    Mar 3, 2009 | 4:37 pm

  72. teny says:

    tulip how do i get your recipe :)

    Mar 4, 2009 | 5:00 pm

  73. chris says:

    ask ko lang po, whats the difference between beefstew and kaldereta? sometimes kasi when i cook a beef ulam, it would start out as beefstew, then later on nagiging kaldereta na or vice-versa. thanks po.

    Mar 7, 2009 | 12:19 am

  74. joylet says:

    hi market man!
    i am in the states right now cooking kaldereta for my tita. im not sure if youll still have the chance to read this comment as it had been posted months ago, but i was looking through the internet for other kaldereta recipes when i decided to check out your site. i learned the recipe from my bf’s maid in manila:
    for every 1 kilo of beef (you can use beef stew cut and vary it with some ribs for more flavor)
    1 cup of vinegar
    1 cup of soy sauce

    tomato paste — i think 2 small packs/cans pero kilo
    onions and garlic
    red/green bell pepper
    liver spread
    olives (optional)

    sautee the beef quickly in olive oil with the onion and garlic

    throw everything inside the pressure cooker — i usually do it for 1 hour… you can opt to add queso de bola too! season with pepper corns and siling labuyo or dashes of tabasco .this is very quick, flavorful and easy.


    Apr 21, 2009 | 1:22 am

  75. rcjavi says:

    Our Kaldereta is quite different from this and just about every Kaldereta recipe I found online. My mother is well know for her Kaldereta. She uses short ribs, liver wurst, Spanish green olives, tomato paste, Velveeta cheese, tabasco and a slash of good BRANDY. She actually takes the whole day to cook this meal =)It literally melts in your mouth. I have yet to master this dish of hers!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 7:09 am

  76. atbnorge says:

    I don’t care much about the recipes here…I am more into that enamelled iron pot—-I want the green one to match my kitchen, hahahaha…But okay, I’ll have my say about Kaldereta. I am a big fan of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and he had this segment about a curried goat in his Road Trip series. I did the curried goat without the curry and replacing the goat with beef, then adding the liver and olives—I was so proud of myself—I did it without Mama Sita, yeheey!

    Jul 25, 2009 | 8:51 pm

  77. jenn says:

    Hi MM,

    I like to boil my beef into pineappple juice until the beef absorbs all the juices. In a diffrent pot saute garlic, onions and add the beef. put beef stock, green and red bell pepper and bay leaves, chopped canned tomatoes and potatoes to make the sauce thicker. I add chiz whiz on mine cause i love it cheezy..and i eat it with lots of rice…yum!

    Jul 27, 2009 | 2:46 am

  78. debbie says:

    any tips on where to get good quality goat meat?

    Jul 31, 2009 | 7:04 pm

  79. emsy says:

    my grandma uses tomato paste in addition to tomato sauce to make the sauce “stick to the meat” as she puts it. Oh and sometimes she would also mash a few potatoes already in the pot to make the sauce thicker. other than that, this version is most probably the same as the one she makes.

    and a couple more things pa pala (after texting my mother to ask) she adds peppercorns, onions and garlic to the pot where she tenderizes her meat…claims that it takes the malansa odor away. and she adds lots grated cheese rin daw.

    Nov 19, 2009 | 1:08 pm

  80. rowea says:

    what is beef stew in Tagalog? is this the “kalderetang baka” or mechado, or nilagang baka?

    Jan 27, 2010 | 3:12 pm

  81. Enteng says:

    about to cook caldereta in a while! good thing there are lot’s of tips here that in a way confirms my idea of how to cook one.

    thank heavens for your site MM!


    Sep 7, 2010 | 1:13 am


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