Mechado is a popular dish Philippines that is made out of slowly braised beef lardoned with fat in the middle then cooked in tomatoes and spices

Mechado is a popular dish Philippines that is made out of slowly braised beef and tomatoes, it might look like the other popular Philippine tomato sauce based dishes like Afritada, Kaldereta or Codico but due to the addition of vinegar/lemon juice and soy sauce this gives it a distinct flavour compared to the others. You might also notice that the beef on the picture above have a fat in the middle, this is because this Filipino dish uses a traditional Spanish culinary practice of using cheaper lean beef parts and inserting strips of pork fat in the middle. This method is quite effective in making the cheap cut more tender and juicy compared to the ones without. That pork fat in the middle resembles a wick in the candle which is called “mech-a” in Spanish or “mitsa” in Tagalog, that’s where the name originated from.

To prepare this dish you need to start with the meat, in Philippines you can buy this beef cut with pork fat inserted already in the middle but since I am here in New Zealand I have to do it on my own by cutting a small hole into a long beef log (I used uncut chuck pot roast) using a long slim knife and inserting a 2 cm x 2 cm thick pork fat. Once inserted you have to cut the beef into bite sized pieces and marinate it in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, calamansi juice, crushed garlic and black pepper. The beef have to be marinated for at least a day then it is cooked by slowly braising together with a tomato based sauce and stock until liquid is reduced to a thick and very flavourful gravy.

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5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 10 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 25 hours 30 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Mechado is a popular dish Philippines that is made out of slowly braised beef lardoned with fat in the middle then cooked in tomatoes and spices




  • 1 kg uncut chuck pot roast, preferably log shaped
  • 200 g pork fat, sliced into long strips
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 1 large sized carrot, sliced
  • 2 red capsicum, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 large can tomato puree (tomato sauce)
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, Philippine Soy Sauce no substitutes
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • oil


  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • oil


  1. Insert pork fat strips in the middle of beef chuck by cutting an incision in the middle. Once finished cut beef into 1 inch thick pieces then set aside.
  2. In a zip lock bag combine and mix together all marinade ingredients, add the beef then close the bag. Marinate beef for at least 24 hrs.
  3. Drain beef from the marinade. Prepare a deep pot and add oil. Add beef and brown on all sides then set aside.
  4. Add garlic and onions then sauté until onions turn translucent.
  5. Add in the beef, stock, tomato puree, soy sauce and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes adding water occasionally if needed.
  6. Deep fry potatoes then set aside.
  7. Add the vinegar and carrots to the beef pot then simmer for 20 more minutes.
  8. Add the potatoes and capsicum then simmer for 10 minutes, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


You can buy Philippine Soy Sauce in Amazon and here are some links:


13 Responses

  1. maerabago says:

    Thank u for this site,i like ur version of cooking…more power & more new recipes…

  2. Anita Triana says:

    Look yummy I could do this thank you !

  3. Claire F says:

    Absolutely love your blog – every new post has me rushing to the store to get the ingredients necessary to make it!

    Claire | Shining Like Silver xx

  4. Shobelyn says:

    Raymund, this looks so good! Looking at the picture brings back memories when we ate Mechado on Sundays in my granny’s house. Amazing food, again.

  5. Looks delicious, I will be trying it. Thanks :)

  6. Toludc says:

    looks so delicious!

  7. Chelsweets says:

    I’ve recently been exploring Filipino cuisine, but haven’t come across this dish yet. Looks like I have a new recipe to try :D Thanks for sharing!

  8. Filipino cuisine is one of my favorites! Thank you for sharing! :)

  9. buttoni says:

    This sounds delicious, Ray. Must try it!

  10. Reblogged this on Forget the Viagra, Pass Me a Carrot and commented:
    Reblog Saturday would not be complete without a wonderful spicy recipe from Ang Sarap

  11. I remember learning this technique in our butchery prac. It’s a very unique way of stretching the product and adding some extra tastiness. Your stews are always so rich and yet beautifully humble.

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