Thursday, May 21, 2009
Sundays and Rainy Days: Nilagang Bulalo (Beef Shank Stew)
During Sundays, I'm sure some Pinoy families have nilagang baka for lunch, otherwise, sinigang na baboy. That is, according to some of my friends and according to... yours truly.
Eh bakit nga ba lagi nalang nilaga o sinigang pag linggo? Truth is, di ko talaga alam. Di ko talaga alermmmm :-) Sabi nga nila, you can never can tell. Etchos!
Hmmm, I think, reason why we have it during weekends is because it's a just "family thing". When everyone is present at home.
It's a soup to share with everyone (sniff! sniff!).
Parang ang saya pag nag papasahan kayo ng soup bowl and you say: "...sabaw please?!"
we like it because of the homeyness and warmth of the soup (yeah it's a comfort food and well, some like it really boling hot, like my husband - yung asawa ko kasi merong medyas sa dila)
we like it because of the tasty flavor of the beef, as well as the crunch of the fresh veggies from the market.
sabi nga ni Nanay noon, "o, damihan mo ng pres beydstabols" ;-)
And for some people who are not so very concious about their cholesterol level, they also enjoy the cherry on top of it all - the Great BULALO.
And sure I am one of them!
"Akin ang utak, I need it!" (utak = bone marrow)
Kebs! Habang bata!
Most of us are so excited to go to Tagaytay to have a taste of their nilagang bulalo from Leslie's or wherever there is.
But if you have a sudden craving for it, especially during the rainy days and you can't get out of your batcave to go south, I pretty think you can, YES - YOU - CAN - make it at the comfort of your own kitchen.
I think our family makes one of the yummy bulalos in town... and my Mommy Tess has given more justice to this ever so staple pinoy weekend dish.
The classic and commercial one is just as delicious, of course, but it can be more delicioso if you want it to!
Let me share our family's Nilagang Bulalo:
2 medium sized beef shanks with meat
1 to 2 medium sized onions, chopped (quartered or whatever size you like)
1 Knorr Beef Bouillon Cube
A little Patis (Fish Sauce) (uh-oh, not too salty!)
Knorr Cream of Asparagus Soup Mix
2 to 3 Potatoes (quartered)
1 medium sized Cabbage (quartered)
Cracked Pepper to taste
You can also add:
Kamote (Sweet Potato)
Saging na Saba (Plantain Bananas)
Corn (cut into half or in threes depending on the size)
and for more sowshyalness, Asparagus (yun yun eh!)
Actually, the more, the merrier, but for us, we're happy with the potatoes and cabbage..
When carrots are available, then they're part of the show.
Boil the beef shanks (bone and meat) until tender (start early!). Best if you pressure cook it to achieve tenderness half the time. For pressure cooking know how, please see entry #1.
When meat is tender, take some of the broth and set aside.
Add the onions and the beef bouillon cubes and patis to the shanks and continue to simmer.
Mix the cream of asparagus powder and the beef broth that was set aside, then when it has completely dissolved, add it to the simmering shanks et. al. (i like the "simmering shanks" effex ha!)
When everything looks good, then it's time to throw in the veggies and the pepper and just leave the cover on for a few minutes then turn the heat off and it's ready to serve. Do not overcook the veggies! No lantang gulay allowed!
I love it when I use a mix of patis and calamansi as a condiment :-)
Some add chili pepper flakes for a one helluva kickin' soup!
I hope you will like the semi-creamyness of the bulalo soup.
It is more hearty, indeed!
And of course...your Nilaga weekends will never be the same again ;-)