Beef Bulalo With Everything Thrown In…


With all the hubbub lately we have really been rather crazed in the MM household. And there is no better cure from food prep exhaustion than a huge steaming pot of soup. In this case, a classic beef bulalo, but gussied up near the end with the addition of nearly everything we had in the refrigerator… After 6 hours of boiling away, this was comfort food for the entire household for not only one but two meals recently…


To about 3.5 kilos of Australian beef shank, I added enough water to cover and brought this to a boil and threw out all of the water and rinsed the meat and pot. I added water again and brought this to a boil and skimmed the minor scum that formed on the surface of the boiling water. I like this trick of rinsing the pot and meat… it really helps make for a clearer stock. Next, I let this simmer at the gentlest of gurgles for roughly 4-5 hours until the meat was incredibly tender. Again, I found the broth less than ideally flavorful, so despite my aversion to pre-made stocks, I added some organic beef stock to the soup, salt and let it boil a little while longer. Next I added corn, potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, and silced ginger to the broth. Lots of cracked black pepper and more salt to taste.


Just before serving, I added some green leafy vegetables and turned the heat off. This hit the spot exactly. Hearty broth with incredibly tender meat and delicious marrow. The potatoes, carrots and veggies made me think this was really quite a healthy meal and with no added oil I think it would qualify as diet food… :) And in true pinoy style, I had this WITH rice, mashing up the potatoes and carrots and having it with the rice. Between the corn, potatoes and rice, another example of how I managed to eat three sources of starch in one meal!


36 Responses

  1. Second picture (middle), MM is truly NILAGA AT ITS BEST!!!! Nakakagutom!!! You have an uncanny sense of timing posting this …It is supper time over here!!! YUP…only PInoys knows how to eat this…mashing the potatoes and having it with rice with toyo and calamansi!!!! But, you know, my hubby who is Chinese has learned to eat this like we do!!!!

  2. This is one pinoy dish that can be prepared genuinely when abroad. The midwest’s bounty of sweet corn and tender beef (with marrow), satisfies the craving for a familiar taste and smell. I occassionally use sweet potato instead of potato.

  3. Soup is perfect for the cold weather. We tend to over eat during the cooler season but this meal, while hearty, is still on the “light” side. In our household I make two meals out of the bulalo stock. The first meal is prepared somewhat similar to yours but I forego the potatoes and corn and add lots of cauliflower, green beans and bok choy, season to taste. The other part is made into a lighter version of batchoy. I prepare the noodles, top with slices of beef, fried garlic, scallions or chives, and crushed chicharon if available. I also add a little bit of patis to the stock for the taste. yum!

  4. Nilaga or bulalo at its best, love it. Been reading past posts for a good hour now, its a favorite past time of mine! One thing I missed is Betty q’s cutchinta recipe that I would love to try. Can I get a copy please?

  5. bulalo was the first dish that came to my mind after being held hostage in an all vegetarian spa for 3 days . he he he.

  6. Beautiful colours. Re top photo, for a second I thought the corn was a sunflower! :-) John Paul Sarabia, can you please tell us where’s this all vegetarian spa?

  7. Bulalo with corn is really comfort for me, too! But, I also prefer some saging na saba to go with the nilagang bulalo to add a little sweetness to the soup.

  8. Looks very appetizing! But how in heaven’s name did you keep that beautiful marrow from shrinking?

  9. MM. do you cook with a slow cooker? I wonder if it makes much of a difference. 6 hours on a gas stove seems so looong!

  10. This is the perfect food for the rainy season. The soup looks positively cranberry-like in the first picture. But what makes me really drool is the marrow peeking from the shank. That on steamed rice, a drizzle of calamansi and I’m set!

  11. bettyq, that’s the way i eat my veggies in nilaga/bulalo – i mash the potatoes and carrots and pechay together and and a few drops of patis and calamansi.

  12. there’s nothing i like better than beef that’s been boiled like crazy to tender, breaking-apart bits. but with shank like that, why not make osso buco? :)

  13. A trick I learned from Nana from Nueva Ecija is to place the meat ( with or without some patis ) in the pot. On mild to moderate heat, cover till meat steams in its own juice and until liquid evaporates and the meat browns a tiny bit being careful not to scorch bottom of pot. Remove pot from heat and clean the pot of the scum that forms on the side but not necessarily scraping off what is left in the bottom of the pot. Add water, boil then simmer till meat is tender proceeding to follow MM’s recipe. Broth may not be as clear but the soup has more body and meat is so much more flavorful. Try it and see the difference. This is usually how I cook any nilaga. My chicken sinigang also tastes better this way. And no stock or broth enhancement needed.

  14. Mmm…comfort food on a cold,rainy day for me. Sorry MM–beef has the most cholesterol(esp bone marrow) in it so I guess not really ideal diet food. But well,we don’t eat this everyday Soooooo good…and I love the corn with it. Mmmmmm…

  15. when my sister gave birth I flew to London and for days I nourished her with pinoy style nilaga… …. am off shopping I will get some shank and make bulalo.

  16. Totally agree with you and everyone. This is also a dish that will perk up its flavor when cooked in palayok. When all is added and ready to be savored as soon as you lift the lid off shazam – it is totally different from the other versions cooked in metal cooking vessels!

  17. This is exactly how I cook nilaga (anything nilaga). It’s now perfect for our stateside wintry weather.

  18. When I make beef nilaga, i use sweet potatoes instead and add some kalabasa together with the pechay, repolyo and sweet corn. I will then mash some slices of the kalabasa to give a little color to the soup and add sweetness too.

    You can also try to add kalabasa in your ginisang munggo…mas masarap

  19. in our place, bulalo and nilagang baka are quite different. try adding a bit of sibot and you’ll taste the difference! yum yum!

  20. I was just at a Mexican Restaurant who serves their soup only on Weekend. Anyway, their equivalent version of our bulalo is Caldo de Res. I was tempted to order it since it was cold that day, pero I remember that it has a different distinct flavor that I am not that used to, so hindi na lang. And then now with this post, the more I missed bulalo, tagal kasing lutuin eh. But when I do, my american husband eat this. He wanted the veggies though cut smaller. And yes I add calamansi and patis (my daughter likes toyo instead). And lots and lots of rice.

  21. probably one of the first things my mother taught me in the kitchen is that when you tenderize meat, you gently simmer-almost-boil the meat over low-ish fire rather than actually cooking it in an angry boil. i guess she was trying to nip the bud early in terms of making me part of the “instant” generation. nothing beats slow cooking!



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