Filipino Kare-Kare Recipe

Filipino Kare-Kare Recipe (Oxtail Beef Shank Peanut Stew)

We know kare-kare as one of the definitive dishes of Filipino cuisine. But despite its far-reaching roots, how it became a Filipino dish is still uncertain. Many different groups will claim to be the source of origin. Some say kare-kare originated in Pampanga, while some claim its roots come from Indian or Moro origins (You can visit this article or this article if you want to read more about its different origin stories).

The only thing we can say for sure is that kare-kare was eventually adapted to Filipino taste and accessibility, becoming the dish as we know it today. Kare-kare is usually made with oxtail, beef, and tripe, but there are many different variations using vegetables to even seafood. But the essence of the dish is in its peanut sauce, made with toasted peanuts and rice, and annatto (atsuete) seeds.

Cooking it low and slow is definitely the way to go with this recipe. If you’re cooking with thick and tough cuts like beef shank, give the dish lots of time to simmer and you’ll have super tender and easy-to-pull-apart chunks of beef.

Bagoong rounds out the dish with its saltiness, but it’s up to you to decide if you want it or not. Serve it with a cup (or two) of rice, and the dish is complete.

How to Make Kare-Kare

Ingredients:

MEAT PREP

  • 1kg oxtail
  • 1x 400 gram Veal/Beef Shank
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 liters of water or more to cover
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 2 red onions sliced in two
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsps of cooking salt

SAUCE

  • 4 tablespoons annatto oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 red onions, chopped
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 4 cups of broth or more (from above)
  • 1/3 cup ground toasted rice
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce or to taste
  • 15 longbeans
  • 3 Chinese eggplants
  • 4 pieces of pechay
  • Bagoong na alamang/fermented shrimp paste to serve

ATSUETE OIL

  • 2 tbsp atsuete seeds
  • 50 grams chicken skin
  • 2 pieces of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 lemongrass stock
  • 2 birds eye chilies
  • 2 thumb-size pieces of ginger
  • 1 cup peanut oil

PEANUT BUTTER

  • 2 cups of peanuts
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Season your beef shank generously. Get your pan hot and place your beef shank to sear. Once browned, remove from pan.
  2. In a big pot, boil enough water to submerge the shanks and add onions, garlic, bay leaves, and salt. Add beef shank and let it simmer for 3 hours. Let it cool and place it in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, skim off the fat on the top of the broth. Set aside for later. Strain the broth and set shanks aside.
  4. Roughly chop onions, tomatoes, eggplants, garlic, pechay, and long beans.
  5. In a pan, heat annatto seeds, chicken skin, garlic, onions, chili, lemongrass and ginger. Pour oil and let it simmer until fragrant, around 10 minutes. Strain.
  6. In a food processor, blend peanuts, salt, and sugar until it turns into a paste. Adjust seasoning according to taste.
  7. Toast rice in a pan over medium heat. Blend until it forms a fine powder.
  8. In a pot, heat up annatto oil. Add tomatoes, garlic, and onions until fragrant. Add a few tablespoons of the skimmed fat and peanut butter. Add broth and season according to taste. Add beef shanks and simmer for 1 hour.
  9. Add as much fish sauce according to your preference. Add toasted rice and peanuts to let it thicken.
  10. Add beans, eggplants, and pechay and cover with a lid to let it steam for a few minutes. Assemble on a plate and serve with bagoong if desired.
Erwan Heussaff
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