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BEEF STEW, PINOY STYLE

(BEEF MECHADO)

This dish is influenced by the Spanish way of cooking which has been handed down from generation to generation. There have been variations of this very popular recipe, and I have added my personal flair. Word of advice in cooking this dish is to start with less sodium and work your way to your taste.

Ingredients:
3 pounds Angus beef top round, fat trimmed and cut into chunky serving pieces
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 piece chorizo de Bilbao (optional), sliced into 1/4″ diagonals
2 bay leaves
2 pieces large potatoes, peeled and diced (1” approximately)
10 pieces pitted green or black olives
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced

Methods:
1. Combine the beef, half of the soy sauce, onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, chorizo de Bilbao (if desired), bay leaves, and 2 cups water (or more if needed). Cook until the beef is tender.
2. Correct the seasoning by adding the rest of the soy sauce and black pepper. Add the potatoes and cook until tender.
3. Add the olives and red and green bell peppers and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Household Hint:
With spring just a whisper away, most of us are excited to do the usual garden and yard work. Here is a good word of advice. To avoid muscle pains and back aches, always change your position or shift your weight every few minutes, if you can. Use a sitting stool, if it helps. Avoid carrying heavy items or objects without the use of a back brace.

Editor’s note: Mrs. Evelyn S. Bunoan is Owner/Master Chef, Philippine Oriental Market & Deli (with more than 30 years of service to the Filipino-American community) – 3610 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia; (703)528-0300; Master Chef (French cuisine), Le Cordon Bleu, London, UK; recipe creator, improviser, food stylist, cake designer, and culinary writer; kitchen-tested and mastered more than 400 recipes, and counting. Member of International Cake Exploration Societe. Host of the cooking show “Evelyn’s Kitchen Cooking with Friends”.

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