Beef Mechado is a tomato based stew that is insanely delicious, full stop! Tender beef with thick and tangy sauce with carrots and potatoes that goes best with steamed rice or even bread.
I can’t remember how many times I asked my husband not to snatch a piece of beef whenever I cook mechado. He can’t control himself forking a cut of beef or dipping a slice of baguette in the sauce. Well, that just shows how good this mechado recipe is.
Mitsado or Mechado, what is it?
Called mitsado locally, it is a classic Filipino beef stew dish. Inspired by culinary techniques of Spain where the beef is braised in calamansi and soy sauce.
The Spanish word mechado is derived from “mecha” that translate to wick. As most of you know, beef quality greatly depends on its marbling or flecks of fat in each cut. And marbled beef do not come cheap, so during those times people will buy cheaper, lean cuts and insert lard.
This process mimics a flavorful marbled beef cut but also resembles a candle. The lard sticks out a bit from the beef and looks like a wick or mitsa, thus the name mechado.
Tips for best results.
Choose fatty beef cuts so you don’t need to insert or use lard. It simmers in low heat and cooks slow so the fat is essential in keeping the beef moist and tender.
Plan ahead when making this dish, you need to have enough time since it cooks for more than an hour.
Pan fry the potatoes and carrots so they won’t break down while cooking.
Sear the beef before slow cooking. The browned surface gives a rich flavor at the end.
Cooking the beef in a pressure cooker can greatly cut the cooking time. If you don’t have a pressure cooker or a bit hesitant to use one, just be patient with the cooking time and it’s worth it.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
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Pork asado is a great dish for days when you just want something easy and low-key. It’s really quick to prepare, and is very easy to cook.
Beef Caldereta is another popular Filipino beef stew dish. This traditional dish is cooked with tender beef, potatoes, and carrots stewed in tomato sauce and liver spread.
- 1 kg beef brisket cut into chunks
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 slice lemon key lime or calamansi
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
For cooking Mechado
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 medium carrots sliced
- 4 medium size potatoes cut into wedges
- 1 small red bell pepper cut into cubes
- 1 small green bell pepper cut into cubes
- 4 large tomatoes chopped into small pieces
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 pcs bay leaves
- 1 cup water add more if needed
- salt and pepper to taste
Marinating the beef
- In a bowl, pour the soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the beef chunks then mix until all the beef chunks are coated with marinate sauce. Set aside and marinate for a minimum of 20 mins.
Cooking the Mechado
- In a pot, heat oil over medium. Fry the carrots and potatoes until half-cooked. Remove the vegetables and set aside.
- Using the same pot, sear the beef until brown in color and set aside. NOTE: Save the marinating sauce for later use .
- Turn down the heat and sauté onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Tip in chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft and the juice is released. Add tomato paste and mix well.
- Add the beef and simmer for 2 seconds until the beef absorbs the sauce. Then add water, bay leaves, and the marinate sauce, mix well and cover with a lid.
- Cook in low-medium heat for 1 hour or until the beef is soft and tender. If the beef still hard, you can add more water.
- When the beef is cooked, add the bell pepper, carrots, and potatoes. Simmer until the bell pepper is cooked. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper if needed. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!