Marks Daily Apple
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2 Nov

Filipino Beef Kaldereta

Filipino Beef KalderataKaldereta is a Filipino stew with flavors influenced by three centuries of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Tomato-based and traditionally made with goat or beef, potatoes, green olives and peppers, it’s a filling, comforting dish.

The really ingenious ingredient in Kaldereta is puréed chicken liver.

Stirred in at the end, chicken livers give the stew a thick, creamy texture and super-meaty flavor. This technique can be used with any of your favorite stew, chili or curry recipes. There are more sneaky ways to work offal into your meals, but this is arguably one the easiest and tastiest methods.

Liver is a nutrient-dense food, so you don’t need to eat all that much to get a beneficial dose of vitamins A and B, folic acid, iron, copper and CoQ10. Make a batch of Kaldereta, freeze individual servings to defrost for lunches, and you’ll be getting a little liver in your diet every week.

Servings: 6 to 8

Time in the Kitchen: 3 hours


  • 2 pounds beef (stew chunks or short ribs) (900 g)
  • 1/2 pound chicken livers, trimmed of fat and membranes (230 g)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 green bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) (5 ml)
  • 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped (230 g)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups water or beef stock (475 ml)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives (50 g) (optional)


Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Heat a thin layer of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the beef, in batches if necessary. Set aside.

Season the chicken livers with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until they are just barely cooked through and still pink inside.

Step 1

In a food processor, puree the chicken livers until very smooth. Set aside.

Pureed Liver

Add the onion, garlic and chopped bell peppers and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook until the vegetables soften, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Sauté a few minutes more then add the water/stock, about 2 1/2 cups or enough to just cover the meat. Add the bay leaves.

Step 3

Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for two hours or until the meat is fork tender. Stir occasionally during cooking. Add salt to taste.

Step 4

Slowly stir the chicken liver purée into the Kaldereta until it blends in completely. Add the olives. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Filipino Beef Kalderata

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Addition of chicken liver is something I do all of the time to add nutrients and complexity to sauces. Great addition here.

    Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on November 2nd, 2013
  2. I wish the recipes posted here were less ‘heavy.’ Obviously eating meat is a huge part of being primal but there are tons of delicious vegetable recipes we could be sharing as well. I.e.: caponata.

    Jillian wrote on November 2nd, 2013
    • Oooh! If you have some involving winter squash please post them in the forum! My garden was quite successful this year. Yay!

      deannacat wrote on November 3rd, 2013
  3. Wow, I think this looks amazing! It definitely hits a few of my favorite foods: olives, beef, and chicken livers! I’ll have to try this as a lunch option for fall.

    Deanna wrote on November 2nd, 2013
  4. Awesome! I actually have goat meat and home made chicken pate in the freezer right now, I was stuck as to what I should do with the goat – I’ve never cooked it before. This is like a sign! :)

    Luke wrote on November 2nd, 2013
  5. I love chicken livers and my body loves them even more (though I must admit I still hate preparing them).

    Problem is the other three members of my household hate them. Is the liver flavor in this subtle enough that it might win them over, or are they going to accuse me of trying to poison them? 😉

    Paleo-curious wrote on November 2nd, 2013
    • I was not a huge fan of chicken liver, til my Dad wrapped them in bacon and cooked them on the grill. Huge improvement!

      Dean K wrote on November 2nd, 2013
      • Bacon fixes everything.

        Kristina wrote on November 3rd, 2013
      • Hmm, I just might try that. If I make them for me, & just waft the bacony goodness around, they could fall for it! Then again they could yell at me for ruining good bacon… they feel strongly about liver!

        One of my sons says they taste like metal… interesting since they are so high in iron… & I know I’ve been anemic most of my life so maybe my body is wired to crave that.

        Paleo-curious wrote on November 4th, 2013
  6. Hey, this is so great! Thank you MDA for having featured this article, and for being an AWESOME n inspiring site! A lot of Filipino “ulam”/viands (meat/veggie dish meal staple paired w rice) are paleo/primal. It’s actually been quite easy for me, except on having to minimise my daily rice consumption. Lol – Proud Filipina 😀

    Anne Myronne wrote on November 2nd, 2013
  7. This looks perfect for our fall / winter soups. I will venture into the world of chicken livers I guess. The taste and texture were gag triggers for me but maybe this way will be workable. I’m thinking that maybe it could be a crock pot meal and then make the liver shortly before serving. Time to buy more bowls for freezing and transport to work.
    Unlike Jillian, I have been wanting a heavy soup/stew to carry us through this long dark winter that we are approaching. It’ll probably be served over some cauliflower riced or mashed mixed with a rutabaga.
    Thanks to Mark and whomever thought this one up.

    2Rae wrote on November 2nd, 2013
  8. Looks like it would taste good, but I can’t help thinking that a dish like this can’t be as nutritious as raw, whole, organic fruits and vegetables. I think I’ll give it a miss (but might try it on a “naughty” day!).

    Peter Whiting wrote on November 2nd, 2013
    • I have a very hard time considering something like this “naughty” (I get you’re using the term very loosely, but still).

      There are a couple of “Dear Mark’s” addressing how many veges actually become more beneficial due to heating. All you’re really reducing to any major extent are the enzymes that are active at room temperature and the more heat reactive vitamins (C in particular). Having said that, if you’re already eating a lot of raw produce anyway, your gut microbes are probably healthy like a mofo from the enzyme content and your vitamin C levels probably aren’t particularly low.

      Any nutrient loss (e.g. selenium from the onions) generally goes straight to the cooking liquid, so if you’re eating a stew or soup and consuming all the liquid….

      Reventon wrote on November 2nd, 2013
      • (I don’t think he’s actually interested in anything Mark has to say)

        Which is fine. More livers for me!

        Moshen wrote on November 2nd, 2013
  9. This looks amazingly delicious! I hadn’t thought about adding chicken livers into stews but now that I know I think I’ll be giving it a go. I’m always looking for new ways to add offal into my diet.

    Emily wrote on November 2nd, 2013
  10. Thanks for featuring this! Ever since going primal I realized a lot of Filipino dishes qualified as primal food. Bulalo, tapa and laing are just some of them. Lucky I live here in Manila.

    Issa wrote on November 2nd, 2013
    • Oh yum, laing!!!

      I had no idea caldereta was made with pureed chicken liver. Definitely making this dish this week.

      ccw wrote on November 6th, 2013
  11. Looks pretty tasty. How would it be with maybe calves or beef liver?

    Dean Freeman wrote on November 2nd, 2013
  12. I think I prefer Filipino Box Spring Hog.

    Jim T wrote on November 2nd, 2013
    • Especially if Tom Waits is hosting the party! 😉

      Paleo-curious wrote on November 4th, 2013
  13. This sounds great. I think I’ll try it with beef tongue though.

    honytreebee wrote on November 3rd, 2013
  14. Love this idea and will try the recipe. Have chicken livers on hand now to add to a soup, although I wasn’t sure how to go about it.
    Mark we really need “printable” versions of the recipes. I hate having to print out so many pages to get the recipe.

    Helen Spurley wrote on November 3rd, 2013
    • Printable recipes – coudn’t you simply paste it on to a word document and delete whatever you don’t want to print? Easy to save that way too.

      French Margaret wrote on November 3rd, 2013
      • Lol. I think a light bulb just lit up.

        ccw wrote on November 6th, 2013
  15. I already eat liver at least once per week, in the form of the various liver paté products available here. Would it change the final product too much if I were to use some other offal in the recipe?

    Susanne wrote on November 3rd, 2013
  16. Making this for dinner and perhaps lunch. FYI for those of us that are “liver gaggers” the liver didn’t smell like liver, so hoping that it’ll be all good taste from here on in……
    Stay tuned to see how the family likes it. (frowns were the look when mention was made regarding liver addition, maybe I will be the only one eating it for lunches?)

    2Rae wrote on November 3rd, 2013
    • Ok, made it. It turned out wonderful. I didn’t add the whole amount of liver to start us out. However, I will be adding more here and there, little sneak of it in other stuff.
      Put it over spaghetti squash and some Parmsean cheese on top. Mmmmm. That what’s for lunch today!

      2Rae wrote on November 4th, 2013
      • So, how did your family react? Were they won over?

        Good idea to add less to begin… maybe I’ll make a separate batch for me.

        Paleo-curious wrote on November 4th, 2013
  17. Very interesting recipe. However I cannot have nightshade family of veggies. I guess I could substitute out bell peppers, tomato’s and pepper flakes for beets, pumpkin and turmeric instead of pepper flakes….. Hmm have to give that a try and see what it’s like.

    Denise Manderscheid wrote on November 4th, 2013
    • Denise, I can’t have nightshades either. I’d love to hear how the stew turns out with your suggested modifications. Sounds yummy!

      Ericka wrote on November 6th, 2013
  18. Filipino here. Most of our dishes are paleo. My favorite is the CHicken tinola which include chicken (and liver if you prefer), papaya and chili leaves. Delicious and very healthful!

    Bryan wrote on November 4th, 2013
  19. Keep the stew recipes coming. Starting to get very cold where a live. Nothing better than comfort food that’s actually good for you.

    Georges wrote on November 5th, 2013
  20. I made this last night and the family liked it. No one outright guessed the liver (I used beef liver as that is what I had) but husband suspected it. Everyone agreed it was a bit too tomatoey. Next time I would use only 3 TBSP paste. Also, I minced the veggies too finely, it did not look very appetizing, kinda mushy. I see from other kalderata recipes online that alot of latitude in the veggies added. I think green beans, carrots and celery would be excellent additions.

    mims wrote on November 5th, 2013
    • oh, I forgot to say, the green olives really made the dish. Do not omit.

      mims wrote on November 5th, 2013
      • And for breakfast today I warmed the leftovers in a large covered skillet, then made individual wells into which I cracked an egg. Cover, let the eggs gently poach and serve. The runny yolk mixing with all that goodness was awesome!

        mims wrote on November 6th, 2013
        • Aw yeah – eggs… now that’s an idea!

          WelshGrok wrote on November 6th, 2013
  21. Thanks for your great recipes.

    I really like the pictures of the ingredients.

    Keep it up!!

    Tumbleweed wrote on November 5th, 2013
  22. That looks awesome. I’m on a bit of a liver kick at the moment so going to try this tonight.

    Gordon wrote on November 6th, 2013
  23. Made this tonight – absolutely delicious!
    I love liver, my wife – not so much; so I split it at the last stage & only added half the ratio of liver to her batch – She loved it!

    Yet another MDA recipe for the file already thinking of variations on the theme – Lamb definitely (well I am Welsh after all!)

    Keep ’em coming.

    WelshGrok wrote on November 6th, 2013
  24. Filipino here as well, so happy to see a Filipino dish featured in MDA. And I agree with Issa and Bryan above that most of our dishes are paleo, we just have to steer clear of the cups of rice that are usually served with these dishes!

    Ayla wrote on November 9th, 2013
  25. Used this liver technique to enrich my regular chili and it was DELICIOUS! Yay for finally working offal into our regular diet in a way that isn’t torture. Thanks so much!

    Emily wrote on December 11th, 2013
  26. This was amazing. The liver adds an incredible rich flavor. It takes a while, but the active time is very small – definitely worth it!

    Jen wrote on March 15th, 2014

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