Beef Caldereta/ Kalderetang Baka (Spicy Beef Stew)

• 1kg beef brisket, sliced into 1-inch chunks
• 8.8 oz. (250 g) tomato sauce
• 2.4 oz. (70 g) tomato paste
• ½ cup liver spread or liver paste (see tips)
• ½ cup soy sauce
• 3 pcs. calamansi limes
• 1 tsp. peppercorns, coarsely crushed
• 4-5 cups water
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 small red onions, sliced
• 3 pcs. potatoes, cut into chunks
• 2 pcs. small carrots, sliced into rounds
• 2 pcs. small red bell pepper, julienned
• ½ cup green peas in can, drained
• 3 bay leaves
• 3 pcs. (or more) bird’s eye chilies, minced
• salt to taste
• ½ cup grated cheese (optional)
• 2 tbsps. butter
• 1 tbsp. cooking oil

Cooking Method:
1. In a large container, combined together the soy sauce, juice of calamansi and peppercorns. Add the beef chops and toss to coat with marinade sauce. Leave covered to marinate for about 30 minutes.
2. Heat the cooking oil and butter in a large saucepan. Quickly stir-fry the carrots and potatoes. Transfer the carrots and potatoes on a plate and set aside.
3. On the same pan, saute garlic and onions until very fragrant. Add the beef together with the marinade sauce, bird’s eye chilies and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the beef turns light brown.
4. Pour water just enough to cover the beef and bring to a boil. Divide the tomato sauce and tomato paste into two. Add the first half of the sauce and paste in the pan and set aside the remaining half. Mix all the ingredients in the pan until well blended. Set the heat to simmer to slowly cook the beef for 1.5 to 2 hours. Add more water if necessary. If using a pressure cooker, it may take no less than 45 minutes.
5. Once the beef is tender, add the remaining half of tomato sauce and paste. Add the liver spread or paste and continue to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
6. Add the red bell pepper and the stir-fried carrots and potatoes. Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is real thick. Add and mix the grated cheese. Remove from heat and transfer in a serving platter. Serve warm along with plenty of steamed rice.