Every Filipino knows that if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or any heart related ailments then dish dish is to be avoided as this is one of the most guilty a Filipino food can get (I guess), it has more fat than your double or triple beef patty burgers! But for this recipe we will trim down that fat tremendously while retaining it’s good flavours. Bulalo is a Philippine soup dish which is made out of beef leg bones with marrow boiled for really long hours so those ligaments and meat just falls apart when you are eating it, the soup contains a lot of oil melted from the fat covering the leg bones. The marrow is its most prized ingredient and it’s what people are dyiingg for in this dish. Though this can be found almost in all Filipino themed restaurants, the best ones are usually sold at Bulalo specialty restaurants in the Philippines and talking about those restaurants the best one back in the days I can remember of is Adams Bulalo in P. Tuazon corner C. Benitez (that’s around late 80’s) I’m not sure if they are still there though.
Origins of this dish comes from Taal, Tagaytay where they enjoy a cooler temperature (less than 10C compared to Manila) and it’s also had a reputation of raising the best cows in the Philippines. The most common time this dish is served is at evenings, more specifically during dinner where the temperature cools down from a 32C during daytime to 22C at night (bear in mind this is a hot soup), it is also a popular dish after having a really long night out, which they said it’s a good food to make you sober. I also remember as a child when we visit Tagaytay, this is one of the must have dishes similar to the other wonderful local dishes they offer such as Mushroom Burger, Bistek, Lomi, Tapa and Maliputo. But if you are far away from Tagaytay and want a real meaty soup dish then this definitely is a must try even if it’s once in your life.
- 2 beef leg bones, cut into 3-4 pcs each
- 1.5 kg beef shanks
- 1 tbsp black pepper corns
- 2 large red onions, quartered
- 2 pcs large corn, cut into 5 pieces per corn
- 5 stalks spring onions, chopped
- leafy vegetables like bok choy or cabbage
- sea salt and/or fish sauce
- Place beef bones on a deep pot together with onions and pepper corns.
- Add water until bones are entirely covered.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 2.5 hours, set it aside and keep it cool once cooled down remove the bones and set it aside. Using a sieve strain the broth and place it in a large bowl, place it on the fridge until the oil rises to the top and hardens, now you can easily separate it out then throw it away, you will not be using this unhealthy fat.
- Place beef shanks and cooked bones on a deep pot then the clear broth, bring this to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes, remove any scum that rises. Add corn then continue to simmer for an hour.
- Add your leafy vegetables and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Flavour with salt or fish sauce, season with freshly ground pepper and top with chopped spring onions.