Kare-Kare is one of the classic Filipino dishes that no Pinoy can ever resist. An appetizing stew made usually of ox tail and vegetables such as sitaw (string beans), talong (eggplants) and kalabasa (pumpkin), it is topped with sauce made rich by grinded roast peanuts or peanut butter.
The traditional way of making the sauce is to use ground roasted peanuts to thicken the sauce. But since it can be time-consuming for today’s busy cooks, we improvised a bit and substituted peanut butter for it instead.
250 grams each of ox tripe, ox leg and ox tail
1/8 cup of annatto seeds
I bunch of pechay
1 bunch of sitaw (string beans)
½ head of cabbage
1 puso ng saging (head of banana plant)
1 cup of peanut butter
¼ cup of rice flour
2 onions, diced
1 whole garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
5-6 cups of stock
How to cook:
1. After washing the ox tripe, leg and tail, place them in a pan and cover with lots of water. Boil and remove the scum quickly as it appears. Cover the pan and let simmer until the meat becomes tender. This will take about 4-6 hours.
2. Afterwards, transfer the meat to a plate and let cool for several minutes. Cut the meat into small pieces.
3. Strain the stock and prepare six cups just to be sure.
4. Cut the cabbage into two and remove the core part. Remove the roots of the pechay as well as the stalks and throw them away. Next, cut the roots of the string beans and cut into two or three pieces.
5. Remove the hard layers of the puso ng saging and cut the inner parts into 2″ x 2″ pieces. Cut the eggplants into cubes.
6. In a skillet, toast the rice flour in medium heat until it turns golden.
7. Heat the oil in a casserole then add the annatto seeds. Cook until the seeds turn bright red. Remove the seeds using a slotted spoon. Increase the heat of the stove and sauté the garlic and onions for half a minute.
8. Add the pieces of meat and cook them until they are brown enough. Pour the cups of stock that you prepared (put four cups first then just add if necessary) and bring to a boil.
9. Lower the heat of the stove and add the following between two-minute intervals. First the sitaw, then the eggplant, puso ng saging, cabbage and pechay. Make sure to follow this order. The first vegetable to be added takes longer to cook while the last one cooks very easily.
10. In a separate bowl, mix the peanut butter and half a cup of stock. Then mix the roasted rice floor with the same amount of stock. After the pechay has been added to the mixture, pour these stock and peanut butter mixtures into the casserole. Stir well and season with salt if necessary. Cook for another two minutes or more until the sauce is thick and rich.
Buy the best bagoong you can find and serve it with your Kare-Kare. Enjoy!