I bought a slab of beef (eye of round) at Costco and thought of ways to cook it. When I had the courage to cut the sealed bag open, I checked the fridge (and pantry) and all I had were some tomatoes, carrots and a bag of potatoes which I purchased recently. Then I remembered that I saved half of a can of tomato paste in the freezer. The stuff I had, pointed me towards making this dish. Mechado is a Filipino braised beef dish that was influenced by the Spanish way of cooking. It’s a slow cooked, tomato-based stew that uses the tougher parts of the beef which is inexpensive.
I saw and tasted different ways of cooking this dish but this one is what I grew up with. My mom taught me this but tweaked it a bit to my family’s liking. Enjoy!
Easy Beef Mechado Recipe
- 2 to 2 1 / 2 lbs beef cubes I used eye of round
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1 / 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 / 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 / 4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves finely minced
- 4-5 to matoes chopped (abt 1 cup)
- 1 / 4 cup tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups water
- 2-3 Yukon gold potatoes quartered
- 1 big carrot cut in chunks like the potatoes
- 1 big red bell pepper sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and marinate for 10-20 minutes. Drain and discard the marinating liquid.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan using MED-HI heat. When hot enough, sear the meat pieces until it starts to brown. Flip and sear the other side. Do it in batches, spread the meat apart to avoid lowering the temperature. Add a tablespoon more oil if you need to and lower the heat a bit to avoid black bits in the pan. Place the seared pieces in a big pot.
- Using the same pan to sear the meat, add the onions and scrape all the brown bits at the bottom . Add the garlic then the fresh tomatoes. Stir for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and transfer to the big pot where the seared meat are.
- Add the tomato paste, soy sauce, bay leaves and water to the pot. Turn on heat to med-hi, stir and let boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to simmer and cook until the meat is tender.
- Turn the heat up to medium and add the potatoes and carrots. Cook until the potatoes are tender then add the sliced peppers. Season with salt and pepper.
***For a thicker sauce, mash one or 2 chunks of the potatoes and stir to combine with the rest of the ingredients.