Filipino Recipes: Rich Beef Mechado
The quality of meat can be seen in the marbling of fat and muscle, and for cooks, the more marbling, the better the cut. This intramuscular fat, which is visible through white flecks embedded in the muscle helps the meat retain juices, therefore keeping it tender. As most Filipinos would testify, fat makes everything taste better, from the adobo to the pata. Beef mechado, meanwhile is a culinary masterpiece that uses wicks of pork fat into cheaper, leaner cuts of beef to help improve the cook. The larded pieces are cook, and the threaded strips of fat will melt into the meat, keeping the dish tender, moist, and flavorful.
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Beef mechado also has a bit of lemon juice and soy sauce that gives it a distinctly Asian flavor. Some carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers also add depth do the flavor profile. Enjoy this dish for a sit-down dinner with family, below is a simple recipe to follow.
How to Make Rich Beef Mechado
- 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into large cubes
- ½ pound pork fat, cut into thin strips
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large cubes
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into cubes
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut a thin incision in the center of each beef cubes and insert a strip of pork fat. Set aside.
- In a pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add potatoes and carrots and cook tender and lightly brown.
- Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.
- Remove most of the oil from pot. Add onions and garlic and place over fire until cooked.
- Add beef, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown.
- Add lemon juice and soy sauce and simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce and water, bringing the mix to a boil.
- Skim off some of the mix that may rise to top and add bay leaves.
- Lower heat, cover and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is tender.
- If the beef dries up before it becomes tender, add water in small increments as needed.
- Add potatoes and carrots and continue to cook until potatoes are tender and sauce is reduced.
- Add bell peppers and continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the delicious beef mechado hot. Enjoy!