Beef Rib Kaldereta

This slow-cooked beef rib kaldereta promises tender meat that falls right off the bone paired with hearty vegetables and a rich, flavorful sauce.
Prep Time
15 Mins
Active Time
2 Hrs 30 Mins

If you were on the internet in 2019, you might remember the debate sparked by a series of funny and relatable memes: What’s the difference between mechado, menudo, kaldereta, and afritada? Comment sections were flooded with heated arguments about which meats and vegetables are used in which dishes, and what rekados made each dish unique.

The confusion comes from the similarities between the red stews, and how their traditional versions have evolved over time. They sort of blur together in a venn diagram of tomato-based meat stews served with potatoes and carrots, and it feels like you won’t know which is which until you ask an experienced cook (AKA your mom or your tita).

Now, I’m not here to break down the differences, but I can tell you what sets kaldereta apart. Kaldereta often uses beef or pork ribs, and its main difference from the other red Filipino stews is the use of liver to add a rich, meaty depth to the sauce. Bay leaves and chili flakes add warmth and spice to the dish. Interestingly, while tomatoes are a staple in the modern kaldereta, they were actually optional in the traditional version.

The secret ingredient: time

In the hands of an impatient cook, ribs can end up being dry and tough. Low and slow is the only way to go with this cut, as it’s the only way to achieve that tender, fall-off-the-bone texture. So why go through all that trouble when you could just use a more tender cut of meat?

Using bone-in cuts like ribs keeps the connective tissues in the meat intact and prevents juices from leaking out while cooking, keeping more moisture in as it cooks. Perfect for braised dishes and stews like kaldereta. You’ll also get a lot of flavor from letting the bones simmer in that delicious sauce. Plus, they’re fairly inexpensive, so you don’t have to break the bank just to eat a delicious meat dish.

Besides, there’s something primal and satisfying about biting into tender, melt-in-your mouth meat and tearing it straight off the bone. Watching the glistening meat fall off the bone and gnawing on it after is a big part of what makes it so pleasurable to eat ribs.

Bonus: Cheesy baked kaldereta!

If you like your kaldereta cheesy and by some miracle you end up with leftovers, a good way to repurpose it is to add some shredded cheese and bake it!

Remove all the bones, and add layers of cheddar, processed cheese, and mozarella in between and on top of your kaldereta. This way, you'll get gooey, melty cheese in every bite! Definitely way cheesier than if you just mixed cheese into the stew. Bake it at 400°F or 200°C for 20 minutes until the topping is golden brown and bubbly.


  • 1 kg beef short ribs
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 85g (1 can) liver spread
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 400g canned whole tomato
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup diced potato
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • ½ cup sliced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced green bell pepper
  • ½ cup green olives

Sear beef: Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan, pot, or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear beef ribs until golden brown on all sides. Remove beef ribs and set aside. Reduce heat to medium. With the rendered fat, sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent. Add liver spread and chili flakes. Stir to combine.


Let simmer: Crush tomatoes with your hands and add into the same pot. Then, add beef broth, and bay leaf. Add browned beef ribs back in. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, reduce heat to low. Let simmer and continue to cook for 2 hours.


Finish it up: Add potato and carrots. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Add the green olives and bell peppers, then continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

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