Kare-Kare (Oxtail Stew in Peanut Sauce)
Although kare-kare is one of my favorite Filipino dishes, I’ve never attempted to cook it — until now. Another food blogger describes preparing this dish as “time-intensive.” But that’s the least of my concerns. I worry that my finished product will not do justice to this classic of a dish which is one menu item that draws people to such rated Manila restaurants as Barrio Fiesta and Kamayan.
Kare-kare has all the ingredients that I love in a recipe: my favorite eggplant, my favorite oxtail, and my favorite peanut sauce. I don’t care much about bagoong (fish or shrimp paste), but kare-kare is not kare-kare without it.
For my version of this recipe, I decided to go unconventional by adding another favorite meat –lamb — to my ingredients. In addition, instead of using toasted rice to thicken the sauce, I used ground, unsalted peanuts. I couldn’t have been happier with the result.
Lastly, I usually recommend using lean meat or trimming the fat in my meat recipes, but this is one time I’m not going to do it. I’d say, go all the way! It’ll make your kare-kare close to “authentic” as you possibly can 🙂
2 lbs oxtail
1/2 lb beef tripe
1/2 lb lamb
1 piece Chinese eggplant, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 bunch bok choy separated into individual leaves
2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch slices
1/2 banana bud, cut into 1/2-inch rounds, peeling the outer red layer and blanched in boiling water
2 cups peanut butter
1 large onion, cut into eights
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, ground
1 tsp achiote (annatto), pounded using a mortar and pestle (You can also use powderized achiote)
10 cups water
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Bagoong or Alamang (fish or shrimp paste)
In a large wok, heat the olive oil medium heat
Saute the garlic and cook until golden brown before adding onions
Add the stock, ground peanuts, meat and peanut butter
Add a cup or two of water as needed for a more liquid sauce
Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes
Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes, making sure not to overcook the vegetables.
Serve with bagoong on the side, and steamed rice.
(Makes 6-8 servings)