Beef caldereta or kaldereta is a rich and flavorful stew with tender beef and hearty vegetables in tomato sauce. This is a one-pot meal that is satisfying and delicious!
You may also like kare-kare with beef shank (in peanut sauce), another classic Filipino stew.
What makes a good beef caldereta
A good beef caldereta has tender, flavorful meat from low and slow cooking. Searing meat and vegetables builds a ton of flavor for the stew. Liver spread makes the sauce creamy and more delicious.
Ingredients you'll need
Notes and substitutions
- Beef: Choose a lean cut with some fat and connective tissue that stay moist after prolonged cooking, like chuck and boneless beef shank. Point-cut brisket and bone-in short ribs are good choices, too.
- Crushed red pepper: It adds some heat but won't make it spicy. You can also use (a little less of) cayenne powder, a dash of hot sauce like Tabasco, or bird's eye chilies (if you like more heat).
- Tomato sauce: Use a 28 or 29-ounce can of regular tomato sauce. You will need about 3½ cups. You can use tomato puree in a pinch — use half as much and dilute with water. Tomato paste is also an option, but you'd have to use about ⅓ and the rest with water since it is much thicker.
- Liver spread: This is canned liver spread made from beef, pork, or chicken liver, along with other parts and fillers, processed into a spreadable consistency.
How to make this recipe
Prep the ingredients
(1)Peel and cut the carrots into large chunks, about 1¼ inches. (2)Peel and cut the potatoes the same way.
(3)Cut the red and green bell peppers into bite-size pieces. (4)If the sweet pickles or gherkins are big, cut them into smaller pieces.
(5)Mince the garlic and chop the onions.
(6)Cut the meat into large bite-size chunks, about 1½ inches. Trim off any excess fat. (7)Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Sear the meat and vegetables
Set a 4.5-quart Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
(8)Once hot, sear the beef in a little oil for about 2 minutes on each side. (9)Transfer to a bowl.
PRO TIP: Sear them in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. This helps them brown better and prevents them from steaming.
(10)Add oil and sear the potatoes for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside. (11)Sear the carrots until slightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
(12)Add the bell peppers and let them slightly blister for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Sauté and simmer
(13)Sauté garlic and onion in oil for 1 minute. Add crushed red pepper and toast for 30 seconds. (14)Add the meat, chicken base dissolved in 1 cup of hot water, and tomato sauce. Mix together.
(15)Let it come to a boil. Add the bay leaves, fish sauce, sugar, a pinch of salt, and pepper to taste. Mix together. (16)Lower the heat to medium and cover.
(17)Simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, until the meat is tender. Skim off the fat layer that pools on the surface so you won't end up with a greasy stew.
(18)Mix in the potatoes and carrots. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until ALMOST done.
(19)Add the bell peppers, pickles, olives, liver spread, and ground pepper to taste. Stir and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Give it a taste — add more salt, sugar, or water as needed.
How to serve
Beef caldereta is best served with white rice to soak up all that flavorful sauce. You can also serve it with some crusty bread on the side, or eat it by itself.
How to store and reheat
Store beef caldereta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Refrigerate leftovers promptly or freeze to prolong their shelf life.
Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. It may be necessary to thin out the sauce with water as it thickens as it sits.
Frequently asked questions
Liver spread adds a distinct flavor and thickens the sauce. Making it from scratch is an option, but it requires more work.
You may substitute with liverwurst or potted meat. Some use peanut butter or cheese in place of liver spread.
Yes. They are both made from liver, seasonings, and (sometimes) dairy. Liver pâté is a fancier word used in Europe.
In the Philippines, we call them liver spread, and they are sold in cans.
Yes, you can make caldereta in an instant pot or another electric pressure cooker. Since the moisture is locked in, reduce the water called for in the stew. The meat will release more liquid as it cooks.
More about beef caldereta
Here are more frequently asked questions about beef caldereta including extra tips, troubleshooting, and other information.
Watch how I make it here
Other beef recipes you may like
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- 4.5-quart Dutch oven or a heavy bottomed-pot
- 3 pounds beef chuck cut into 1½" cubes (see note)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon chicken or beef base or bouillon dissolved in 1 cup of water
- 3 bay leaves dried or fresh
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce sub: soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar or more
- 12 ounces Yukon gold or waxy potatoes cut into 1 ¼" chunks
- ½ red bell pepper cut into 1 ¼" chunks
- ½ green bell pepper cut into 1 ¼" chunks
- 12 ounces carrots cut into 1 ¼" chunks
- ½ cup sweet pickles or gherkins cut in half, if big
- ½ cup pitted green olives ex. Manzanilla or Castelvetrano olives
- ¼ cup liver spread
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil (canola, vegetable, or olive oil) for searing and sautéing
- Season meat with salt and pepper. Add oil and sear over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.
- Sear the potatoes and carrots for 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside
- Let the bell peppers slightly blister for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Sauté the garlic and onions for about 1 minute, or until softened.
- Add the crushed red pepper and let it bloom (toasting them to release the flavor) for 30 seconds.
- Add the meat back in, the chicken base dissolved in 1 cup of hot water, and the tomato sauce. Mix them together.
- Let it come to a boil. Add the bay leaves, fish sauce, sugar, a pinch of salt, and pepper to taste. Mix together.
- Lower the heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, until the meat is tender. Skim off the fat layer that pools on the surface so you won't end up with a greasy stew.
- Mix in the potatoes and carrots. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until ALMOST done.
- Add the bell peppers, pickles, olives, liver spread, and ground pepper to taste. Stir and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Give it a taste — add more salt, sugar, or water as needed. Turn off the heat.