RECIPE: Chef Roline’s Pochero Beef (Pocherong Baka)

Recipe courtesy of “The Easy Filipino Cookbook: 100 Classics Made Simple” by Roline Casper (Rockridge Press, 2020)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Pochero Beef was one of my favorite foods growing up, and I have since cooked it many times for my family. The recipe can also be made using beef, chicken, pork, or a combination of meats like in this chorizo-and-beef version. Serve this dish with rice for a complete meal.

Ingredients

5 tablespoons canola oil
1 chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 bay leaf
1 sweet potato, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
4 saba bananas or 2 plantains, peeled and halved
1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon sugar (option)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. In a wok or large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the chorizo, tomatoes, onion, and garlic for about 1 minute.

2. Add the beef and stir until well coated. Cover with cold water by several inches. Add the bay leaf and bring the stew to a boil over high heat.

3. Once the liquid reaches a boil, turn the heat to a medium-low and simmer for 1 hour. Skim the foam off the surface as it cooks.

4. When the beef is tender, add the sweet potato and carrot and simmer for 5 minutes, until tender.

5. Add the bananas and cook for about 5 minutes, until the fruit is soft.

6. Add the cabbage, tomato sauce, and chickpeas, and let it simmer until the liquid has reduced to the consistency of a thin stew, about 10 minutes.

7. Add the sugar, if using, and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Substitution tip: Use 1 (12-ounce) can of pork and beans instead of the tomato sauce.

Cooking tip: In an electric pressure cooker, use the sauté function to complete step 1. Cover the beef in water as instructed, seal, and cook at high pressure for 25 minutes. Quick release the pressure and continue with the recipe using the sauté function to simmer the sweet potatoes, carrots, banana, cabbage, tomato sauce, and chickpeas.

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