I have prepared several Filipino dishes including Afritada, Menudo, Mechado but never Caldereta...until last week. I have an idea on how it is done though..but just an idea and the taste of it from my memory.
In my attempt to cook one, I searched the internet on recipes for this well-known Filipino dish. And I tell you, there are alot! And no two are the same. Some recipes calls for olives, others even have pineapple juice and some even have coconut cream in them! Methods and procedures were also different from each other. Waaah! I was so confused! What should I follow?
It ended me not following any of them...LOL! But don't get me wrong, recipes from the net are amazing, I just chose to do it my way.
Crossing my fingers and hoping that this will turn out great, I begun to cook.
500 gms pork ribs
200 gms carrots, cut into big chunks
200 gms potato, cut into big chunks
100 gms bell pepper, cut into big cubes (you may opt to use both red and green)
115 gms tomato sauce
3 pcs dried bay leaves
2 Tbsp liver spread
2 Tbsp pickle relish
5 cups pork broth
1 tsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, crushed
1 or 2 red chillies (depending on how hot you want it to be)
oil for sauteing
In a large casserole, bring to boil pork ribs and about 6 cups of water. (I did this so I can produce pork broth)
In a separate casserole, heat oil and saute garlic then onion. Once onion is transparent, add bell peppers (same a couple for garnish - optional). Saute for another two minutes.
Add tomato sauce. Simmer for 1 minute.
Add pickles, paprika, soy sauce, salt, liver spread, ground black pepper and bay leaf. If you will notice, it looks like the amount of salt is not enough but since we have cheese, this is not a problem. *wink*
Gather pork ribs (without the liquid) and add to the simmering tomato sauce. Mix until all pork ribs are coated with the mixture. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Add in 5 cups of pork broth. Bring to boil with occasional stirring for 20 minutes.
Add cheese. I know it seems a lot but the result will be amazing! Simmer for 10 minutes. At this point, liquid must have been reduced to almost half. (Cheese takes the place of cream and or coconut milk)
Add potatoes, carrots and red chili. Simmer for another 20 minutes or until meat is almost falling of the bones. Since B doesn't like spicy foods, I removed the chilies after 3 minutes.
At the end of the cooking process, Pork Caldereta is expected to have a thick sauce and almost mashed potatoes (it's actually the best part).
For a first timer, I think I nailed this! It was creamy, a little spicy (yeah, I kept that chili I removed and mixed it with my serving of Caldereta) and meat is tender. The combination of flavors are amazing!
Hope you can try this one time, you will not regret it :)
What dish have you cooked for the first time that ended up amazing?