Saturday, February 19, 2005


Slow-cooked bulalo is a classic among many families.Sassy talked about Bulalo and has a recipe for it and a deviation from the traditional way of cooking it. Ting-aling also has a post here. With all that I don't need to post a recipe at all. Just wanted to share some tips.

Bulalo is called Pot-au-Feau by the French, and this is not at all exclusive to the two nationalities. Hence we cannot call this a truly Pinoy dish, but one which is loved by Pinoys. However, while other terms are used to denote the same method of cooking beef, when we say "bulalo," it refers to the bony parts (usually the shank, be it of beef or pork). It produces stock that is tasty and satisfying indeed.

My preferred ingredients and method:

Beef shank (I have frozen cuts labeled "bone soup") - thawed in the fridge for a whole day or overnight, boiled in a saucepan for 15 minutes, drained, and placed in 10-qt slow cooker with as much water as it can accomodate, cooked on high for a minimum of 6 hrs

spices - 3 pierced cloves of garlic, 1 whole peeled onion,, 10 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, slices of celery (added at the start of slowcooking)

vegetables - chunks of potatoes and carrots added 1-2 hrs before serving, then snap beans or pechay or cabbage added 30 minutes (or less if you want it crisper) before serving

Salt or patis to taste

I observed that my in-laws also use the same method of cooking corned beef or ham (as cured by the butcher), hence this dish is welcomed by them as well. However, they serve the meat, potatoes and other veggies separately and without the stock, while we Filipinos love to have them all swimming on our plate full of rice, with the soup stock served in small bowls/cups, on which I also love adding snips of spring onion and a dash of ground white pepper.

If I plan to store some of the stock, I get about 4-6 cups from the stock into a big saucepan to cook the vegetables before serving Bulalo. Then I strain (or I let them stand for a while in wide-mouthed bottles so sediments will settle, refrigerate to harden the oil and remove it first) and freeze the leftover stock in muffin pans (the 6-cup trays I used in my leche flan) for 30 minutes empty containers of cottage cheese/sour cream for at least overnight then transfer them into labeled freezer bags. Great for cooking other beef dishes or as soup base for ramen.


drstel said...

ows manang now i regret not picking up the big pack of shanks i saw yesterday! it's so cold here we need some of this belly-warmer...'musta na?

Bix said...

I love your idea of freezing the stock in muffin pans!

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