Hearty, rich, and oh so satisfying, this Filipino Beef Caldereta Recipe is a great meal for the whole family. Beef, potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables and herbs simmer in a flavorful tomato-beef broth base.
Much of Filipino food is comfort food, but there are a few Filipino dishes that rank right up there with the ULTIMATE comfort food.
Caldereta is one of them. My own version is easy to make and adjust to your taste. And, your house will smell AMAZING while this is cooking on your stove!
🥘 What is caldereta?
Caldereta, also known as kaldereta, is a thick classic Filipino stew. I've taken the base of this popular dish, and given it my own Filipino-American twist.
Traditional, authentic Filipino recipes call for goat meat caldereta. However, goat meat isn't so easy to find where I live, so this is a beef caldereta.
Authentic Filipino caldereta recipes also include liver spread. This is used to help thicken the stew, and to add an interesting, unique flavor.
In place of liver paste, I've thickened the stew with a cornstarch slurry.
The flavor is still amazing, and I think you will LOVE this truly special stew!
🥩 Ingredient notes
Beef - This recipe is very forgiving, and you can use a variety of different cuts of beef. I use beef chuck or stew meat. You can use beef brisket, bottom round beef, or even beef short ribs.
Olive oil - Use your favorite olive oil to sauté the first set of ingredients.
Garlic - This recipe calls for 4 garlic cloves, but you can use as many or as few garlic cloves as you prefer. I'd recommend sticking to the 2 to 5 garlic clove range.
Onions - Dice 1 small yellow onion.
Carrots - Slice enough carrots to reach about 2 cups worth, about 4 medium or large carrots.
Potatoes - Dice 2 russett potatoes. You should end up between 2 cups and 2.5 cups.
Cornstarch - You'll be using cornstarch to create a cornstarch slurry to thicken the stew. This takes on the role of liver spread in more traditional Filipino caldereta recipes.
Beef broth - Use homemade or store-bought beef broth.
Tomato paste - This adds to the richness of the stew.
Bay leaves - Use two to add flavor while the stew is cooking. Don't forget to take each bay leaf out after the caldereta is done cooking and before you serve it!
Green Olives - Olives add a bright, briny flavor to the stew.
Red bell pepper - These, along with the olives, are added during the last few minutes of cooking so that they don't overcook.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
Exact measurements of ingredients and instructions are in the printable recipe card toward the bottom of this post. Here are some helpful tips to guide you as you make this recipe.
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Sauté garlic and onions for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.
3. Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot. Stir.
4. Add the beef and cook for 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly and browning all sides.
5. In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and water to create a cornstarch slurry. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the pot and stir to combine all of the ingredients.
6. Add the beef broth and tomato sauce to the pot. Cook at a medium boil, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes.
7. Add the bay leaves, then cover and reduce heat to low-medium, and cook for 1 to 2 hours.
8. Check the stew at 1 hour. If the beef is not yet cooked, or if you don't have tender beef and potatoes, then continue cooking for up to two hours. My caldereta is usually done to my liking after around one and a half hours of cooking time.
9. Add the red peppers and green olives, then cook, uncovered, for 3 to 4 more minutes. Once the peppers are slightly tender, turn off the heat and serve the stew.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
All of these dishes are Filipino stews – with some minor differences. The meat choice is usually goat or beef for caldereta; chicken for afritada; pork, pork liver, and hot dogs for menudo, and pork or beef for mechado. Caldereta is the only Filipino stew that uses green olives. Mechado usually has red and green bell peppers, and unlike the others, is cooked in a tomato and soy sauce. Menudo usually includes liver spread (like kaldereta) and raisins.
If you are looking for a Filipino beef caldereta recipe that does NOT call for liver spread, this is it! Liver spread is a Filipino canned product made from pureed pork, beef, or chicken liver mixed with cereal and/or offal. Instead of liver spread I use a cornstarch slurry to add thickness to the stew. You can also add some peanut butter to thicken the stew and add a little more flavor.
⏲ Kitchen tools and equipment
For this classic Filipino dish, you just need a few basic kitchen tools:
Wooden Spoon - Use a wooden spoon to stir the ingredients while cooking.
Small bowl - You'll need a small bowl and whisk to create the cornstarch slurry.
🥖 What to serve with caldereta
This is a great stew to enjoy with big pieces of crusty bread to soak up that deep, rich tomato-based sauce. Or try making Filipino Pandesal, soft rolls that would go well with caldereta.
For side dishes, this caldereta/kaldereta would taste delicious with some Filipino Macaroni Salad, Instant Pot Garlic Rice (my non-fried version of sinangag, Filipino Garlic Fried Rice), white rice, Pancit Bihon Noodles or Pancit Bihon.
Of course, every Filipino meal also needs some authentic Filipino Lumpia!
🍷 Best wine pairings for this Filipino stew
The flavors of this dish are rich and hearty, like most stews. However some of the ingredients add a bit of a tang twist.
I like to serve caldereta/kaldereta with a nice Sangiovese, Tempranillo, or a Syrah. Go for bigger red wines with tannins that can stand up to the richness of this hearty Filipino dish.
More hearty recipes to try
For more, you can buy my Filipino cookbook: Modern Filipino Cooking, my 55-page e-Book with authentic Filipino recipes that I've adapted for today's modern kitchen!
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Filipino Beef Caldereta
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cups sliced carrots (about 4 medium to large carrots)
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2-½ cups total)
- 2 pounds beef, cut into cubes
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- ½ cup pitted green olives
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.
- Add the carrots and potatoes to the pot. Stir.
- Add the beef and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, browning all sides.
- In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and water to create a cornstarch slurry. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the pot and stir to combine all of the ingredients.
- Add the beef broth and tomato paste to the pot, and stir. Cook at a medium boil, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves, then cover and reduce heat to low-medium, and cook for 1 to 2 hours.
- Add the red peppers and green olives, then cook, uncovered, for 3 to 4 more minutes.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.