Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nilagang Baka (Pinoy Beef Stew)

Who would not know how to cook nilaga in the Philippines?  Apart from the popular adobo and sinigang, nilagang baka is a popular dish that Filipinos cook for their loved ones.  It is especially a favourite when the weather is cool. but for some or most of the Filipinos, nilaga is cooked only on special days --- Sundays, Christmas or New Year.

 Beef is quite expensive in the Philippines. (I could not believe that beef is cheaper than pork here in Australia)  Beef rump per kilo is Php260-290 as of  December 2011.  There are cuts that are even more expensive that this. Comparing this price to the minimum wage that an ordinary Filipino receives if he works in the province, it is indeed expensive.   As of  January 2012, the National Capital Region's minimum wage is Php426 while in Region III of which Bulacan belongs to, the minimum wage is Php330.  This would even depend on which sector you belong to.  Agricultural and retail workers receive lesser salary.   A kilo of beef is almost Php300 and the minimum wage is just Php330 so everyday won't be a beef day for all Filipinos.  Based from experience, when I was a child, Sunday was the only beef day for us and some other special occasions.  I still remember my older cousins (Estong especially) going to our house upon hearing that we would be having nilagang baka for lunch. I remember that there were also some people , that would exclaim in a loud voice that they have baka (beef) for their meal  so it could be heard by the whole neighborhood (such funny memories).

Now that I am married I still cook the same dish and  I'm happy that my Aussie husband and our daughters love to eat nilaga.  They never get tired of it.  I think that's really good!

1 K beef chuck or buto-buto
1 medium onions
green chilli peppers
1 medium cabbage
1 bunch of bok choi (pechay)
2 sweet potatoes or potatoes
4 pcs plantain bananas (saging na saba)
spring onions
salt and pepper (freshly crushed)

Tenderise the beef by using a pressure cooker.  If it is not available just boil it until the beef is tender to your liking.
Put in  the onions, spring onions and the veggies.  Add salt and pepper.  Simmer.

Note:  Sometimes I would also add corns.

A comment or two will be appreciated...



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