Beef Afritada Recipe – this beef dish is a heart option to enjoy as a one-pot meal. The word afritada can refer to any stew with a protein braised in tomato sauce with carrots, potatoes, and red and green bell peppers. Beef afritada simply involves tender cuts of beef in the stew. It is also a popular option next to chicken afritada. Being a stew dish, there are different options that come with making this dish. Overall though, it is a rather simple dish to make. This is one beef afritada recipe you can try for yourself:
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
- 1 large carrot peeled and cut into cubes
- ½ green bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 pounds beef chuck cut into 2- inch cubes
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 can 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 pinch salt or as much to suit your taste
- 1 pinch pepper or as much to suit your taste
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat then add potatoes and carrots. Cook the vegetables until they are lightly browned on each side then transfer to a plate with paper towels to drain the oil.
- immediately add the bell peppers after and cook for about 30 to 45 seconds. Once they're cooked, include them in the other draining
- Drain the oil from the pan but leave two tablespoons worth of oil then increase the heat to medium-high heat. Add beef and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned then remove it from the pan and let the meat rest.
- If the oil reduced, add another teaspoon before adding the onions and garlic to cook.
- Once the onions and garlic have softened from cooking, add back the beef then pour the fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- While the meat and sauce are cooking, add crushed tomatoes, water, and tomato paste. Stir them all together then bring to a boil.
- Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is tender. If you see the sauce drying out before the meat tenderizes, add more water in 1/2 cup increments.
- Add potatoes and carrots to the pot and continue to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce is thickened and reduced as desired.
- Add bell peppers and cook for about 1 minute or until tender yet crisp then season the stew with salt and pepper until it suits you taste.
History and Notes on Beef Afritada
Beef afritada is a variation of the stew dish and the original afritada made use of chicken. It was during the colonial era that the dish made its way to the Philippines. The word afritada was derived from the Spanish word “fritada” which means “fried”. What makes this so notable is that pan-frying was a cooking method that the Spaniards introduced to Filipinos.
When it comes to cooking the dish, there are different tips you can use to enhance the overall results. With the beef, it can help to pat the meat dry with a paper towel before cooking it. It will keep the meat from developing a caramelized crust. It also helps to cut the beef in uniform cuts and be patient with the searing process. You’ll also want to consider using the same pan for cooking the meat and vegetables to enhance the flavors.