I tend to cook watery tasteless Nilagang Baka (Filipino Beef Stew with Clear Broth) but finally I have solved my Nilagang Baka problem. Didn’t use the “magic beef cubes” but used Beef Bones instead. This Filipino Dish is so good during our cold Brisbane weather at the moment and a favourite comfort dish among Filipinos.
Nilagang Baka is so easy to cook, the only thing that is time consuming is the simmering of the Beef Bones and Beef Brisket. Filipinos tend to eat Nilagang Baka as a soup that you drizzle on top of steamed rice. Some enjoy it as meal on its own, either way it is a hearty dish. To me, what defines a good Nilagang Baka is it has to possess a rich flavourful beef broth, melt in your mouth beef pieces and just cooked through vegetables. I don’t like the vegetables unrecognizable because of overcooking.
“Nilagang Baka”, translate literally in English as “Boiled Beef”.
NILAGANG BAKA, BONE MARROW WITH PATIS/CALAMANSI DIPPING SAUCE
I only ate about two small spoonful's of the Beef Marrow as I find it so rich, dipped slightly to my mix of patis (fish sauce) and calamansi (calamondin), it’s so sinful but at the same time you have to tell yourself, some bad stuff are good once in awhile
NILAGANG BAKA (Filipino Beef Stew with Clear Broth)
1kg Beef Bones, with marrow inside
1kg Beef Brisket, cut into chunky cubes
7-8 whole black peppercorns
1 tspn coarse table salt
3-4 bunches of petchay (pak choy), trimmed and rinsed
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunky cubes
20 string beans, trimmed and rinsed
1/4 cabbage, trimmed and cut roughly into big pieces
1 large onion, peeled and cut into large cubes
enough water for the cooking process
~ Rinse your Beef Bones well with cold water and at the same time with a small knife, scrape the end bits to get rid of the boney paste. Place your Beef Bones inside a large pot and cover with cold water (water level should be just above the bones). Bring to boil and lower the heat so that the liquid is just simmering.
~ Skim the scum/dirt off the top occasionally and dispose. Simmer the Beef Bones for about 1 hour and then add in your Beef Brisket. Bring to boil and let it simmer down, and don’t forget to skim the dirt off the top once again. IMPORTANT: Skim the scum/dirt as much as possible while simmering.
~ Add in your peppercorns and onion, simmer for another 2 hours. Liquid will reduce to half, add in your salt and stir it through. After a couple of minutes, take out your Beef Bones and place in a separate bowl, slightly cover with cling wrap so it won’t dry out.
~ Add in your cabbage and potatoes , make sure you fully immersed them in the simmering broth. Cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 5 minutes . Stir in your string beans and cook for a further a minute or so, covered the pot with the lid again.
~ Place your petchay (pak choy) on top of your Nilagang Baka, cover with lid and turn off the stove. Leave your pot on top of the stove burner to finish of the dish. Once the dish is ready to be served, arrange your Nilagang Baka on a large serving bowl. I love this dish with patis (fish sauce) and calamansi dipping sauce.
BEST WITH: Freshly Steamed Rice, Pritong Isda (Fried Fish) or just eat this dish alone, with all the medley of vegetables…it’s a meal on its own.
This recipe is quite big for 2 adults and 2 kids, I recommend cutting this Nilagang Baka recipe in half.
I removed the Beef Bones before I added the vegetables to create more space for the vegetable to be fully immersed on the broth. I served the Beef Bones separately from the Nilagang Baka.
Be diligent on skimming the surface to collect the scum/dirt so that your broth would be clear and doesn’t look like murky dish water at the end of the cooking process.
Please don’t overseason your Nilagang Baka with more additional salt as the potatoes tends to absorb the saltiness. Better to place your seasonings (salt/patis & calamansi/pepper) on the table for individuals to add on their servings if they feel that it is underseasoned.