Filipinos like gravy, in fact if we can drink them we will! In the Philippines if you see fried chicken, steaks or even burger patty served on rice automatically they are served with a generous amount of gravy. This is also the reason why fast food chains there like Jollibee, KFC and even McDonalds try to accommodate this Filipino love for this sauce by either giving every diner tons of extra gravy or better yet on the condiment section you will see a chained hot water thermos filled with this goodie.
Popular dishes to use this sauce is what we call the burger steak as well as the Filipino fried chicken but there is this new kid on the block that I did not have a chance on trying on and only saw it recently online, the garlic pepper beef. I guess this dish is very easy to recreate based on the picture and the flavour profile the Filipino wants, I even think my recreation is even better as I had used a more flavourful cut as compared to the usual steak cuts.
Trust me this is a better version as the preparation of this dish is concentrated on giving it more flavour by searing the meat first and using the rib cut that is slowly simmered to extract all that flavour from the bones will definitely yield a better tasting result compared to an average steak cut that is simmered quickly and just topped with gravy. What’s even better the gravy is cooked together with the meat.
In a large wok, add oil then sear and brown all sides of beef ribs in batches, make sure its brown seared as this gives a lot of flavour as well as colour. Set them aside.
Prepare a pot, add the seared beef ribs together with any drippings and oil from the wok. Pour water on into the pot together with 3 tbsp of fried garlic and 1 tbsp of freshly ground black pepper then bring it to a boil, simmer in low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Occasionally check for liquid levels and add water as necessary after an hour and a half, liquid levels should have reduced if not turn heat to high and reduce it further to roughly 3 cups.
Dilute 2 tbsp of flour in 1/2 cup of water, pour this into the pot and continue to simmer for 15 more minutes in low heat, let the sauce thicken to gravy consistency.
Add the butter, give it a mix then season with salt if needed and more freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat then top it with generous amount of fried garlic.