Let me introduce to you the Famous Filipino Kare-Kare composing of beef, ox tail, or tripe or mixed in with cubed beef simmered with ground white rice, broth and peanut butter, mixed with eggplant, snake beans and pechay or bokchoy and banana blossoms. People all over the country have different version of cooking it but I will give you the ingredients that you can buy from Asian or Chinese supermarkets to cut our preparation in half the time. I was looking for the famous red claypots which are used to make its presentation grander as this is usually served in the famous restaurant in our country called Barrio Fiesta but I can’t find any here.
4-6 pieces of beef oxtail (trimmed of fat)
6 garlic cloves
1 medium sized yellow onion ( sliced )
beef tripe (washed, ( boiled 2x with fresh water each boiling)
2 pieces Japanese eggplants (sliced diagonally)
a bunch of snake beans or green beans
1 bundle of bokchoy
1 17 oz. can Lucia Banana Blossom in Brine ( optional )
This is Mama Sita’s Kare-Kare peanut sauce mix, it’s poured on the tiny glass bowl, it consists of the grounded white rice, grounded peanuts and achuete (annatto powder).
This is the achuete or the annatto powder that gives the dish its distinct extra deep reddish color. You can add more of this to the pot if you wanted the more reddish color.
1. Boil oxtail and beef with enough water to cover in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes only.
2. Take out the cubed meat, oxtail and boiled tripe together in a bowl and set aside. Save the broth.
3. Boil the broth and blanch the snake beans and eggplant for 3-4 minutes, on its last minute, put in the bokchoy. Gather the vegetables and set aside for later, save the broth.
4. Sauté garlic then onions in a tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. Put in all the oxtail, beef and tripe and pour a tablespoon of fish sauce, stir for a few minutes to distribute the flavor, then pour the saved beef broth, boil until it simmers.
5. Pour the contents of the kare-kare mix in a small mixing bowl, ladle the boiling broth and add into the bowl and whisk the mix well then pour into the pot. Continue simmering on a low fire to make a slightly thicker sauce.
6. Check if the reddish color of the sauce in the pot is what you wanted and if not, pour 1/2 of the packet of Annatto powder in a small mixing bowl and ladle the boiling broth and whisk well, once fully disolved, add into the boiling pot. Mix well and stir well until the sauce covers the beef, tripe and oxtail.
7. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the plain peanut butter. Once you achieve that smooth reddish consistency of the sauce and the meat is tender as to your preference, taste but you don’t need to add salt, you can serve shrimp paste on the side. Now mix in the vegetables, cover the pot and turn off the stove.
8. Transfer the mixture into a red clay pot or onto a nice huge bowl, add the bokchoy last on top. Serve with fish sauce or shrimp paste on the side if you still wanted to add that salty taste. The addition of the fish sauce during sautéing for me is enough and no need for things on the side but most of my countrymen don’t add the salty fish sauce during the sautéing and serve it with the shrimp paste or famously called, “Bagoong”. Back home Kare-Kare is famously paired with this bagoong, see the picture below.
So here it is folks, the famous Filipino Kare-Kare, my own way, the speedy way. Utilizing the ingredients by Mama Sita and Kamayan which are available worldwide, just go to most Chinese or Filipino supermarkets and shops. Good luck!