Ah, the beloved staple in every Filipino special occasion for those who love their traditional dishes–kare kare is a rich, hearty stew of oxtail meat and vegetables, thickened and flavored with the earthy taste of roasted peanuts and the bright orange color of annatto seeds. Sometimes sliced tripe is added to this stew, but this version of the usual recipe makes use of tender chunks of beef to cater to the palates of pickier eaters.
The vegetables should not be cooked for too long in this recipe, as the crunchy, fresh taste of bok choy and string beans are a beautiful contrast to the creamy texture of the sauce of this stew. Don’t be put off by the fact that you’re using unsalted peanut butter as the base for the sauce here–it’s essentially pureed, unsweetened and unsalted peanut ground into a paste just like in other cuisines!
For the stew
- 1 kg ox tail
- 1 cup unsalted peanut butter
- 1/4 cup ground toasted rice
- 1 large red onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 whole garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup annatto seeds soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 cups beef stock
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the vegetables
- 3 pieces eggplant, sliced
- 1 bundle string beans, sliced
- 1 bunch Baby Bok Choy
- In a pot add oil and sauté onion and garlic, once onions turn translucent remove then set it aside.
- Now using the same pot add ox tail then brown all sides.
- Pour the beef stock and a cup of water into the pot then bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours or until meat is tender (Add water if needed).
- Turn of the heat then remove the ox tail from the pot and leaving all the liquid, set ox tail aside.
- Add sugar, ground toasted rice, peanut butter and water from soaked annatto seeds into the pot then mix thoroughly until it’s even in consistency. Turn on the heat to medium then let it boil.
- Once sauce is boiling, turn heat to low then add the ox tail and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Now cook the vegetables separately by blanching string beans, eggplants and bok choy.
- Pour stew on a deep bowl and add cooked vegetables on the side. Serve with bagoong.
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