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+ servings

Kare-kare

Recipe by Connie Veneracion
The origin of this meat, vegetable and peanut sauce dish is murky. And whether it is an adaptation of the Indonesian sate sauce or Indian curry is not clear. One thing is undisputed though. When cooked correctly, kare-kare is delicious.
Oxtail and no other cut is used in this recipe. If you're not a fan of offal, see notes after the recipe.
Non-sweetened peanut butter is traditional but we find that sweetened is even better.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 9 hrs
Total Time 9 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 people
Oxtail kare-kare (boiled oxtail and vegetables drizzled with peanut sauce)

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker
  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

Meat

Kare-kare sauce

  • ¼ cup glutinous rice
  • 3 tablespoons palm oil
  • ¼ cup annatto seeds
  • 6 to 8 cups broth (oxtail cooking liquid)
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • fish sauce

Vegetables

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 white cabbage cut into wedges
  • 3 eggplants cut into half-inch rings
  • 300 grams green beans trimmed and cut into three-inch lengths

Instructions
 

Cook the meat

  • Place the oxtail pieces in a large pot and cover with water.
    Parboiling oxtail with vingegar to remove strong smell
  • Pour in the vinegar and bring to the boil.
  • Leave to boil uncovered for about ten minutes or until the surface of the water is covered with scum.
    Parboiling oxtail in water
  • Drain the oxtail and rinse thoroughly.
  • Place the cleaned oxtail into the slow cooker and cover with boiling water (to start the cooking immediately).
    Pouring hot water over parboiled beef in slow cooker
  • Add the fish sauce, peppercorns and bay leaves.
    Adding fish sauce, peppercorns and bay leaves to oxtail in slow cooker
  • Cook on LOW for six to eight hours (the actual cooking time depends on the quality of the meat and the age of the animal it came from).

Make the kare-kare sauce

  • Spread the glutinous rice in an oil-free frying pan and set over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring often, until browned and nutty in aroma.
    Toasting and grinding glutinous rice
  • Cool the toasted rice before grinding into a powder (use a mini food processor or a mortar and pestle).
  • Pour the palm oil in a pan and add the annatto seeds.
  • Heat until the annatto seeds have rendered color.
    Making annatto oil
  • Scoop out the annatto seeds and discard.
  • Add the ground toasted rice to the annatto oil and stir quickly to make a roux.
    Making a roux with annatto oil and ground toasted rice
  • Cook, stirring often, for a few minutes.
  • Add broth, half a cup at a time and stirring after each addition, until you get the consistency that you prefer (how thick or thin kare-kare sauce should be is a matter of preference).
    Pouring beef broth into pan with annatto oil and toasted ground rice
  • Place the peanut butter in a bowl and add a few tablespoons of broth. Mix well until smooth.
    Thinning peanut butter with broth before adding to pan to make kare-kare sauce
  • Pour the peanut butter mixture into the simmering sauce and stir until fully incorporated.
  • Taste the sauce and add as much fish sauce as needed to get a good flavor balance.
    Kare-kare sauce in pan

Cook the vegetables

  • Boil plenty of water in a pot and add the salt.
  • Drop in the cabbage wedges, cover and simmer until softened then scoop out.
    Boiling cabbage wedges, eggplant slices and green beans in salted water separately
  • Bring the water to a boil once more, add the eggplant slices and cook until done but not mushy.
  • Scoop out the eggplants, drop in the beans and cook until done.

Finish your kare-kare

  • Option 1: Bring the sauce to a simmer, add the cooked meat and vegetables, stir and wait until simmering. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
    Oxtail kare-kare in serving bowl
  • Option 2: Arrange the beef and vegetables in a shallow bowl and drizzle hot sauce over them. Serve with more sauce on the side.
    Oxtail kare-kare in white bowl

Notes

If you're not a fan of offal but a serious fan of crispy pork belly, there's crispy pork belly kare-kare.
Crispy Pork Belly kare-kare
Make the sauce using bone broth, prepare the vegetables per the recipe above, arrange the vegetables and crispy pork belly (fried or non-fried) in a bowl, pour in the sauce and serve.
Keyword Beef, Offal