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Pochero Beef (Pocherong Baka)

Recipe courtesy of “The Easy Filipino Cookbook: 100 Classics Made Simple” by Roline Casper (Rockridge Press, 2020)

Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutesServes: 4 to 6Pochero Beef was one of my favorite foods growing up, and I have since cooked it many times for my family. The recipe can also be made using beef, chicken, pork, or a combination of meats like in this chorizo-and-beef version. Serve this dish with rice for a complete meal.

Ingredients

5 tablespoons canola oil1 chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4-inch rounds2 tomatoes, finely chopped1 cup finely chopped onion3 garlic cloves, minced2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes1 bay leaf1 sweet potato, cut into 2-inch cubes1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces4 saba bananas or 2 plantains, peeled and halved1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges2 cups tomato sauce1/2 cup cooked chickpeas1 tablespoon sugar (option)Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. In a wok or large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the chorizo, tomatoes, onion, and garlic for about 1 minute.

2. Add the beef and stir until well coated. Cover with cold water by several inches. Add the bay leaf and bring the stew to a boil over high heat.

3. Once the liquid reaches a boil, turn the heat to a medium-low and simmer for 1 hour. Skim the foam off the surface as it cooks.

4. When the beef is tender, add the sweet potato and carrot and simmer for 5 minutes, until tender.

5. Add the bananas and cook for about 5 minutes, until the fruit is soft.

6. Add the cabbage, tomato sauce, and chickpeas, and let it simmer until the liquid has reduced to the consistency of a thin stew, about 10 minutes.

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