Would you believe this is the first time I’ve made honest-to-goodness caldereta? Like actually planned the dish to actually be caldereta from the very start. Usually when I say I made caldereta I really just made beef asado and then tossed in some red bell peppers. But nope, this time I had a plan. An ambitious plan. A plan that included lamb. Yup, you read that right. Filipino caldereta is often made with goat. That’s slightly difficult to procure around here but we have the next best thing. Baaaaa!
- 1 pound lamb pieces for stew (that’s how they were labeled at my grocery)
- 6 lamb chops
- juice of 1 big lemon
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 4 tbsp soy sauce (preferably Silver Swan or Lauriat or anything made from the Philippines. DO NOT use Kikkoman, it’s too light)
- 1 big red bell pepper, diced or julienned
- 2 big carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch discs
- 2 big potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- pepperoni or chorizo de bilbao, sliced into thin discs — optional
- 1 small can liver spread (such as Liverwurst) — optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- vegetable oil (enough to fry potatoes and carrots)
Marinate the lamb in lemon juice and soy sauce (don’t use all the lemon juice unless you like your sauce a bit tart), set aside. Fry potatoes and carrots, separately. Drain in paper towels and then set aside.
Heat some of the oil used earlier in a big pot or pan. Saute the garlic until golden brown, then add onions and cook until slightly transparent. Add the bell pepper and let cook for about 5 minutes. Arrange the lamb at the bottom of the pan to sear. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the meat doesn’t char. Add the pepperoni, bay leaf, tomato sauce, the remaining lemon juice-soy sauce marinade and about 2 cups of water. Let boil and then simmer covered for about 1 hour or until meat is tender.
Add the liver spread, potatoes and carrots and some ground pepper. Taste before adding salt. Cook for 5 more minutes and serve with piping hot white rice. Serves 6-8.