Beef Afritada is a simple one-pot meal that the whole family will enjoy.
With fork-tender beef, root vegetables, and colorful bell peppers in a rich, flavorful tomato sauce, this Filipino beef stew is hearty and delicious!
It’s sure to satisfy with juicy chicken, tender root vegetables, and colorful bell peppers slow-cooked in fresh tomatoes!
Today, on the other hand, it’s all about the beef afritada. This is my hands-down favorite version of the many variations of this ubiquitous Filipino stew.
I’m not a big fan of beef, but there’s something about fork-tender meat smothered in a thick, hearty sauce that I can’t get enough of.
It’s also simple to make with only a few ingredients and can be done in one pan. Ideal for busy weeknights!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFRITADA, MECHADO, AND CALDERETA?
I used to wonder what the difference was between menudo, caldereta, mechado, and afritada when I was younger. Even Filipinos find it perplexing.
One of the differences appears to be how afritada is prepared. While the others take a long time to cook, afritada can be ready in under 30 minutes.
When you want a tomato dish but need it to be ready quickly, this is your best bet. The ingredients are also unique.
Afritada is one of the simplest tomato dishes we have inherited from the Spanish. It’s simply stewed pork.
It also has fewer ingredients and is less expensive. The only ingredients in this pork dish are tomato sauce, meat (pork or chicken), potato, carrots, and bell pepper.
Others have a lot more, such as menudo, which has liver and raisins. In terms of ingredients, afritada is the most similar to mechado, with the exception that mechado contains soy sauce.
Another significant distinction could be the cut and type of meat. Menudo is made with a very small cut of pork.
From the small cut in Spanish Caldereta is large beef or goat meat with bones, and the classic Filipino Mechado (also beef) is shaped like a log.
- Pan-fry the potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers to help them hold their shape in the sauce.
- To ensure even cooking, cut the beef into uniform pieces.
- Excess moisture will create steam and prevent the meat from developing a caramelized crust, so pat it dry with paper towels.
- Sear the beef thoroughly. Brown on medium-high heat, taking care not to crowd the pan. Allow the meat to sear for a few minutes before turning.
- Contrary to popular belief, searing meat adds depth of flavor and a more appealing color rather than sealing in moisture. Finish the stew in the same pan, and don’t bother washing or wiping it down after browning the beef. The browned bits add a lot of flavor to the stew!
- Reduce the liquid until it clings to the meat and potatoes, or simmer until it thickens to a hearty sauce that can be spooned over rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make instant pot into beef stew?
Cook for 35 minutes on high pressure with all of your ingredients in your instant pot. There is also a stew setting that will cook for 35 minutes on its own.
Does meat get more tender the longer you pressure cook it?
Yes. Pressure cooking employs steam in its method, which aids in the tenderization of meat. That being said, if you cook it for too long, it will fall apart. The longer the beef stew cooks, the more tender it becomes. Because the meat will take a little longer to cook than the vegetables, it is added first. Because we use chuck in this recipe, the meat does not become tough as it cooks, but instead remains juicy and tender in the pressure cooker.
What kind of beef should I use for beef stew?
I strongly advise you to use beef chuck roast. It contains some fat, which results in a much softer and tender stew. Stew meat will work, but it will be drier.
Do you need tomato paste for beef stew?
Tomato sauce is used in this recipe. If you only have tomato paste, dilute it with water, vegetable broth, or beef broth.