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

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49 thoughts on “Filipino Beef Kaldereta”

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  1. 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.

    1. Oooh! If you have some involving winter squash please post them in the forum! My garden was quite successful this year. Yay!

  2. 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.

  3. 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! 🙂

  4. 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? 😉

    1. I was not a huge fan of chicken liver, til my Dad wrapped them in bacon and cooked them on the grill. Huge improvement!

      1. 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.

  5. 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 😀

  6. 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.

  7. 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!).

    1. 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….

      1. (I don’t think he’s actually interested in anything Mark has to say)

        Which is fine. More livers for me!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. Oh yum, laing!!!

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

  10. This sounds great. I think I’ll try it with beef tongue though.

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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?)

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

  14. 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.

    1. Denise, I can’t have nightshades either. I’d love to hear how the stew turns out with your suggested modifications. Sounds yummy!

  15. 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!

  16. Keep the stew recipes coming. Starting to get very cold where a live. Nothing better than comfort food that’s actually good for you.

  17. 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.

    1. oh, I forgot to say, the green olives really made the dish. Do not omit.

      1. 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!

  18. That looks awesome. I’m on a bit of a liver kick at the moment so going to try this tonight.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. This was amazing. The liver adds an incredible rich flavor. It takes a while, but the active time is very small – definitely worth it!