Angus Roast Beef Tagalog a la Marketman


This dish sounds bizarre, but it is totally, OUTRAGEOUSLY DELICIOUS. I have a whole bunch of material for posts in “queue” but I decided to jump them all and post a leftover dish that is just too good to be true. At an early Christmas dinner a few nights ago, we had an enormous Angus Roast Beef that was delicious, and during the meal, guests started to talk about all the things one could do with the leftovers… cold roast beef sandwiches were the simplest and easiest suggestion, while I mentioned our house favorite, roast beef hash which uses not only the beef but potatoes as well. Then a friend mentioned that she has eaten the leftover roast beef reincarnated as Bistek Tagalog… and I was utterly intrigued. At first pass, the idea of taking perfectly rare, nearly buttery, soft Angus beef and treating it to a soy sauce and lemon bath sounds downright irreverent…

But I love Bistek Tagalog, so tonight I thought I would experiment with four precious leftover slices of angus beef. To make, heat up a pan and add chunks of beef fat (from the outer part of the roast) and let it render its fat as the base flavoring vehicle. Then bistek2add several sliced white or Spanish onions and sauté them until soft. Remove the solid fat remnants and place the onions on a plate and set aside for a few minutes. Slice your rare leftover beef into ¼ inch slices. Heat up the pan again and place the slices in the hot pan and after just 30 seconds or so turn the slices over. You don’t want to crisp them up, just get the surface colored and warmed. Don’t cook the slices through, they will toughen up. Place the warmed slices on a platter. Put the cooked onions back in the pan over medium heat. When it starts to sizzle again add a mixture of beef stock (or leftover gravy), Kikkoman soy sauce, half a tablespoon of cornstarch if you need a thickener, and lemon juice and lots of cracked black pepper. Add salt only if necessary. Cook for just a minute or so until the right consistency and pour this over the roast beef slices. Serve hot and with lots of rice. It was sublime. A great leftover/fusion/easy dish for the holidays…and totally doable from Edinburgh to Sao Paolo to Auckland to Ulaan Bator…


28 Responses

  1. That sounds phenomenal! Believe it or not, I just “learned” how to make bistek Tagalog a month ago! Thank god C loves the way I cook it…I’m sure this would really floor him. I hope to see more leftover posts…Christmas is really the season for extreme leftover action :)

  2. i have yet to find Angus beef here. the simple bistek tagalog with hot rice is one of the best pinoy dishes in my opinion. i’ve been running out of ideas on what to cook lately…buti na lang you gave me an idea :)

  3. MM, this is a bit bizarre, but this is exactly what my hubby prepared for dinner last night! I was a little miffed because I usually like to eat good meats as steaks with just salt and pepper on it, but when I tried it, it was absolutely yum :)

  4. Oooh I love bistek tagalog!!!! I used to always squeeze fresh calamansi on it! I liked it a lot! But havent tried cooking bistek tagalog using angus beef, it must be really good and tender. Havent tried cooking it with lemon, the yellow one? That is the only thing that comes close to our calamansi here in the US, I suppose.

  5. Angus beef is the Mercedes Benz of the beef. You are already up a couple of notches with Angus Beef in your meal alone. Rendered beef fat is the best. The mighty power of fat is doing its flavor work — anything it touches makes the palate happy. Lemon juice serves as a degreaser and Kikkoman soy sauce the seasoning. The rice makes the biting fang happy. The rest is history for a super leftover.

  6. We had this for dinner a couple of nights ago! But I used ribeye steaks and a few precious kalamansi from my tiny tree. Bistek Tagalog is a rare treat for us since my kalamansi tree is rather stingy with it’s fruit. We are having a standing rib roast for Christmas Eve dinner, I’m hoping for some leftovers to turn into bistek!

  7. Oooh, this is fantastic! We’re having guests over for a ribeye roast tonight so the post’s timing couldn’t be more perfect. Just wondering about the soy sauce–is kikkoman a strong preference or have you (or anyone reading this) experimented with other brands and kinds? (eg. Braggs, chinese dark soy, datu puti, etc.)

  8. Marilou, for the kalamansi tree/bush not to be stingy, make sure it is always watered. I planted a small one 10years ago and when it first started fruiting, it was so stingy as well, then i was told to keep it watered, so I run a line from my water sprinkler to the tree/bush and it has been watered 3x a week during the spring/summer months and once a week during the fall/winter months. Now, I’m running out of friends to give those fruit away, they just won’t stop fruiting all year round.

    As for the bistek tagalog, no one will beat calamansi and soysauce as marinade for that. One question, is angus beef a cut of beef or a type of beef from angus cows? Cause i always use rib eye to make bistek…

  9. I have not cooked bistek tagalog in a long long time. Is it advisable to marinate the beef overnight? Also can I use the marinade when I make the sauce or just throw it away?

  10. Isabelle, I don’t bother to marinate it overnight. Here is my recipe for a more classic Bistek Tagalog. MRJP, I know of someone who had a calamansi tree in NYC but it was indoors during the winter… Ted, yes, Angus is a breed of cow while ribeye is a portion of the body of the cow… ribeye is an EXCELLENT but extravagant cut of meat for Bistek Tagalog. In Manila, the beefsteak cut must be from one of the toughest parts of the animal… trish, I prefer Kikkoman for its clean and reliable taste, but I suppose most other soy sauces would work. For a darker, deeper color and flavor a darker soy sauce is necessary. MRJP, when I lived in the U.S., I didn’t have access to kalamansi so I started cooking my bistek with yellow lemons. It wasn’t the same, but I grew to love the combination of kikkoman and lemons. I still use it once in a while when back home, though the souring agent of choice is definitely kalamansi! Redd, they carry angus beef at several of the smaller, more expensive delis in Manila… Joey, you and C would love this, I know it. I will post a recipe for roast beef for anyone who is seeking it, then make enough extra to try this recipe!

  11. Wouldn’t it be an extravagant (but so Steingartenish) if you got different cuts of beef and different types (Angus, Wagyu, free range whatever), and using the same recipe above experimented to find the best tasting bistek tagalog of them all?

    You’d also need an emergency medical team waiting by the sideline after eating all that meat, but it would surely be a cookout of all cookouts.

  12. Wagyu Steak Tagalog…now THAT is sounding like a challenge… super rare, of course! But oddly, the base pinoy instinct in me also likes it slightly tough and rough on the tongue, with a strong dark marca pina type of sauce… lots of rice. So very office carinderia, but I love it and the upscale version as well!

  13. Hello. Are there any other places in Manila other than Santis where I can buy Angus Ribeye slab of a higher grade? To be price competitive, I think Santis imports lesser grade Angus nowadays. They don’t taste like the ones they sold 5-6 years ago. Willing to pay the price so long it’s top grade.

  14. kb, I agree with you, meat quality at Santis and elsewhere has deteriorated in recent years. Worse, new Philippine laws prevent importation of beef with bones so you can no longer get a rib roast anymore…due to fears of Mad Cow…absurd. At any rate, Bacchus at the Shangrila Hotel (the wine shop) apparently is bringing in a refrigerated container around now with CHOICE and PRIME Angus beef at prices of about PHP2,000 a kilo for the PRIME as opposed to roughly PHP1,700 a kilo for the Angus at Santis. There is also meat at Terry’s delicatessen but I haven’t tried it and some of those cuts are pricey too… Let me know if you find other sources, I too, am curious…

  15. MM, only this year i think that the irish gov’t allowed selling t-bones again, t-bones were banned because of Mad cow….it’s been out of the market maybe for 4-5yrs, till now……

  16. MRJP, i live in the bay area and i found my tree at the Oakland flea market. They do however sell calamansi trees at “seafood city supermarket” during the spring time. My tree has survived the bay area winter, but then again our lowest here would only go down in the 20’s.

    I’ve always bought my ribeye roast at costco and they are well trimmed and has good marbling within, and reasonably priced at $8/lb. I don’t usually make roastbeef out of it, i use it mainly for bistek, tapa, and of course for grilled steak. And the best onions to use for the bistek is the “vidalia sweet yellow onions” from Georgia.

  17. MRJP you can buy your kalamansi tree from the garden or plant store and as Ted says from the flea or farmers markets. Most kalamansi in the US are planted in big planters and are mostly outside of the house spring, summer and fall but when winter comes or there is a frost advisory then you bring the whole planter inside the house and it stays there until winter is over. You can also buy fresh kalamansi from Oriental markets or you can use the kalamansi in small plastic packets and the brand I think is Manila Gold.

  18. Mr Ted and Miss DivineG, thanks for the tips. I’m just sooo glad to know that there is hope to find calamansi tree in the US. I have an addiction to its fruit. I eat all my meats with kalamansi juice and toyo as sawsawan :) I searched for calamansi in Asian stores nearby, the only one I found was the frozen calamansi juice in packets. No fresh calamansi. I probably would look at the farmers markets to get the tree, as you advised. Thanks!

  19. I think Kikkoman is quite different in taste from Chinese soy sauces and i find that using it in bistek tagalog or adobo gives you a slightly different flavour. Some people like it (“lasang lutong america!”), but i think for those who live abroad it is worth seeking out Chinese toyo to get a more authentic taste to pinoy dishes.

    In Manila, i use Coconut brand toyo. it’s not as easily available as silver swan etc but it is of a higher quality than other local toyo brands. Or, when i’m in Chinatown, i get some Chinese toyo at the Eng Bee Tin grocery on Ongpin st. It does make a difference.

    But the ‘roast beef leftovers bistek tagalog’ is a terrific idea. I’ve done it in the past too. i’ve even cooked western style steak cuts like rib-eye as a sort of modified bistek tagalog as well– mestizo steak!

  20. MRJP, I live in the US Midwest and I ordered my kalamansi plant from They are pretty reliable and the 2 year old plants that I have ordered have been vigorous and came with lots of fruit. They are grafted onto dwarf stock so you can keep them small, which is an advantage since I have to bring them indoors in the winter.

  21. For very good quality angus beef, you can get from Meat Plus in Subic and any Tender Bob’s restaurant. They have the frozen ones, and guaranteed high quality angus, we also have Prime beef but it always runs out!



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