Nilagang Baka Filipino-style boiled soup with fork-tender beef shanks with vegetables
Nilagang Baka is the ultimate comfort food! This Filipino-style boiled soup with fork-tender beef shanks, tendon, and vegetables is hearty and tasty. Nilagang Baka is literally translated as “Boiled Beef”. This is a simple soup dish best served during rainy and cold weather. Have you noticed the similarity of this dish to that of the Bulalo and Beef Pochero? Nilaga which means “pinakuluan” or “boiled” refers to a type of Filipino meat and vegetable soup where chunks of beef, pork, or chicken are cooked in seasoned broth until fork-tender. Quartered onions, peppercorns, and fish sauce add flavor to the soup while abundant local produce such as potatoes, corn, cabbage, pechay, green (Baguio) beans, and carrots turns it into a hearty one-pot meal.
This Nilaga recipe is the best that I’ve tried. This is quite unique because of the use of carrots. It makes the dish more colorful and adds vitamins such as Vitamin A to the meal — making it more nutritious. I like having beef nilaga when it is very hot. It keeps me feel warm on cold days and gives me the nourishment that I need. The beauty of the dish is in its simplicity which can transform from a homespun meal to a party dish in larger portions. What I like about this soup meal is that I can always cook the beef ahead till it softens to a “fall-off-the-bone” tenderness. So when the actual meal time comes, all I do is add the vegetables when I reheat the meat. Here are the ingredients of Nilagang Baka. 2 lbs beef brisket cubed. 1 big potato cubed. 1 bok choy or pechay. 1 large onion chopped. 2 medium sized carrots chopped crosswise (w/ length of about 2 inches). 1 tbsp whole pepper corn. 3 tbsp fish sauce patis. The key to the best tasting nilaga is the beef. The beef gives this simple soup its flavor so if you’re going to spend on something, buy fresh and flavorful cuts of beef. Then it’s just a matter of letting the water, beef, seasonings, and other ingredients you want to add in simmer until the beef is incredibly tender. Season lightly so you can serve it with a tiny platito of patis and a squeeze of calamansi. It’s comfort food at its most warming!
Here are the instructions on how to cook Nilagang Baka. 1st step. Saute the onion until texture becomes soft. 2nd step. Add-in the beef brisket and cook for about 5 minutes. 3rd step. Add the fish sauce and whole pepper corn then mix well. 4th step. Pour-in the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours (or 30 minutes if using pressure cooker). 5th step. Put-in the vegetables starting with the potato and the carrots. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. 6th step. Add the bok choy (Pechay). Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let it stay for 5 minutes. 7th and last step. Serve hot. Share and Enjoy!
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