500 g beef shank
500 g beef tendons
250 g long beans (sliced into 2 inch lengths)
150 g round cabbage (roughly chopped)
2 yellow onions (diced)
2 potatoes (peeled and diced)
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp black peppercorns
3 L water
Nilgang Baka is a popular Filipino dish. Nilaga means boiled, and this Filipino soup dish has tender beef shanks and tendons, making it the ultimate comfort food. Cooked till the meat becomes fork-tender, the dish is paired with potatoes and vegetables – a healthy, flavorful, and satisfying meal.
Nilagang Baka is an easy dish to cook with only one pot and two steps. However, like most stews and soups, the execution of the dish requires patience. This dish takes close to an hour to cook. Though long, this step is extremely crucial as it not only makes the meat tender but also brings out the flavor of the ingredients. This infuses all the delicious goodness into the broth that you can later slurp up.
Perfect for a rainy day, Filipinos usually consume this dish all year round as this soup is quite refreshing. Beef shanks and tendons that are rich in collagen are used in this Nilagang beef recipe as such tough cuts get more tender and tastier the longer it is cooked. Massaged with punchy peppercorns and cooked slowly in sweet onions, the blend of beef shanks and tendons is full of flavor and grows more tender with each bite. Perfect with a side of steamed rice, whip up this easy dish and eat for comfort, as the Filipinos do.
Pork is a possible meat substitute for beef. By using pork, you will be cooking Nilagang Baboy, another popular Filipino dish. Since this is a soup dish, and the ingredients utilized for the broth are simple and versatile, a chicken would be a good meat substitute as well. Be sure to taste the broth and season to taste.
You can add in other vegetables or even fruits to the dish. Adding bok choy or pechay will add more nutrients to the dish. Celery stalks will add a different dimension of flavor to it. If thrown in at the last few minutes, it may remain crunchy, giving the soup some texture. You can also try adding Saba bananas to your Nilagang to add some delicious sweetness to your soup.
For consumption the next day, keep the soup in an airtight container and reheat in a pot. Bring the soup to a boil and add in more water if the soup has gotten thicker in the refrigerator.
1. Get the most out of the ingredients: To fully incorporate all the flavor profiles of the ingredients used, try sautéing some of them before adding them to the broth. In a cooking pot, heat up some oil and sauté the yellow onions. Add in the black peppercorns and cook for 20 seconds before adding the beef cuts. Cook the beef for 3 to 5 minutes then add to the broth for further cooking.
2. Serve a clear soup: Before cooking the dish as instructed, blanch the meat in boiling water for about 2 to 3 minutes. This will remove all the blood and coagulated protein. Discard the liquid and throw out all the impurities that may cloud up the stock. Give the beef a quick rinse and continue with the Nilagang Baka recipe as directed.
Transfer chunks of beef and vegetables into a serving bowl. Ladle over soup and serve hot with a bowl of steamed rice.