Caldereta is a popular Filipino stew that has various regional versions. It is a dish with a Spanish influence, derived from the Spanish word caldera which means cauldron. It is a dish that is slowly simmered for hours, making the meat tender and flavorful. The most well-known version of this dish is beef caldereta, but other meats like goat, duck, or chicken are also used. In this article, we will explore the pork version of this famous Filipino stew.
The Pork Version
Pork caldereta is a tomato-based stew that you can make with either tomato sauce, tomato paste, or fresh tomatoes. The recipe involves sautéing the pork with garlic, onions, and tomatoes until the meat is brown. Using fresh tomatoes adds more flavor to the meat since it is also being browned first. This step is essential because it brings out the natural sweetness of the tomato and helps create a more robust flavor for the pork.
Ingredients and Alternatives
To make pork caldereta, you will need pork belly or pork shoulder, garlic, onions, tomatoes, vegetable oil, water, fish sauce (patis), liver spread, potatoes, carrots, green olives, tomato sauce, bay leaves, and red bell pepper. Green olives can be omitted although they give a distinct sour flavor to the dish. If they are too expensive, you can use pickles as an alternative. Liver spread is essential since it is a crucial ingredient in the dish. If you cannot find liver spread, you can use broiled pork liver as an alternative and chop it finely.
To cook pork caldereta, heat oil in a medium-sized wok and sauté garlic until fragrant. Then add onions and stir until soft. Add tomatoes and cook until they become soft and the oil turns orange in color. Add the pork belly and sauté for about 4 minutes or until the pork turns brown. Pour in water and add black pepper, then simmer in medium heat for about 30 minutes and cover. Add the patis, liver spread, and pork cubes. Mix until the liver spread is well combined with the liquid. Add the tomato sauce and bay leaves. Mix again to combine, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes more. Then add carrots, potatoes, olives, and chili peppers (optional). Mix and cover, then simmer for 7 minutes. Finally, add the bell peppers, cover, and simmer again for 3 minutes.
Pork caldereta is a flavorful twist on a classic Filipino dish. This hearty stew is perfect for any occasion and is sure to please even the most discerning palate. With the right ingredients and cooking techniques, you can create a delicious and authentic pork caldereta that will transport your taste buds to the Philippines. So gather your ingredients, start cooking, and enjoy the delicious flavors of this classic Filipino dish!
NOTES ON THE INGREDIENTS:
Pork belly a common cut of meat used in pork caldereta due to its rich and tender texture. But it can be substituted with pork shoulder or pork butt if you want to eat pork with less fat. It is sautéed with garlic, onions, and tomatoes until browned, and then simmered with various spices and ingredients to create a flavorful stew.
Green olives are an important ingredient in pork caldereta as they provide a distinct sour flavor that complements the rich, savory flavors of the dish. While they can be expensive, they can be substituted with pickles if necessary.
Liver spread is a key ingredient in caldereta as it adds a rich and savory flavor to the dish. If liver spread is not available, an alternative is to broil a piece of pork liver and chop it finely before adding it to the stew.
Carrots and Potatoes
These vegetables are commonly used in pork caldereta to add texture and flavor to the dish. They are usually added towards the end of the cooking process to prevent them from becoming too mushy or overcooked.
Tomatoes are an essential ingredient in pork caldereta as they provide a tomato-based sauce for the stew. Fresh tomatoes are used in the recipe to add more flavor to the meat and to help in browning the pork. However, tomato sauce or tomato paste can also be used as a substitute.
How To Cook Pork Caldereta (Kalderetang Baboy)
- 1/2 kilo pork belly or pork shoulder cut into cubes
- 1 cup tomato sauce (200ml pack)
- 1/2 cup green olives or sliced pickles (optional)
- 2 pcs tomatoes chopped
- 1 pc red onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green bell pepper sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 2 pcs red chili peppers sliced (optional)
- 2 pcs medium sized potatoes (or 1 large potato) cut into cubes
- 1 pc medium sizecarrot sliced
- 1 pork bouillon (e.g. Knorr pork Cube) pork cube
- 2 pcs bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup liver spread
- 4 cups water
- 3 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 1 Tbsp. patis or adjust to suit your taste
- pepper to taste
How To Cook Pork Caldereta:
- In a medium size wok, heat oil and saute garlic until fragrant. Then add onions and stir until soft.
- Add in tomatoes and stir cook until it becomes soft and the oil turns to orange in color.
- Then add the pork belly and saute for about 4 minutes or until the pork turns to brown.
- Pour in water and add black pepper then simmer in medium heat for about 30 minutes and cover.
- Add the patis, liver spread, and pork cubes. Mix until the liver spread is well combined with the liquid.
- Add the tomato sauce and bay leaves. Mix again to combine. Then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes more.
- Then add carrots, potatoes, olives and chili peppers (optional). Mix and cover then simmer for 7 minutes.
- And for the finale, add the in the bell peppers, cover and simmer again for 3 minutes.
- Serve hot with steamed rice or fried rice.
Cooking Tips for Pork Caldereta:
- Use pork belly for a more flavorful and tender meat.
- Saute the pork with garlic, onions, and tomatoes until brown to enhance the flavor.
- Adding fresh tomatoes, in addition to tomato sauce, will add more depth to the dish.
- Liver spread is essential in making caldereta, but broiling a piece of pork liver can be used as an alternative.
- Don't omit the green olives, as they add a distinct sour flavor to the dish. Pickles can be used as an alternative.
- Carrots, potatoes, olives, and chili peppers can be added for additional flavor and texture.
- Bell peppers should be added towards the end to preserve their crispness.