It’s like Bicol Express but with a creamy beef twist. Bulanghang is dish created by the House of Bulalugaw made with tender beef and tendon pieces cooked in a green chilli infused creamy coconut milk sauce.
To be honest all of these new Filipino dishes that goes viral I only get to know and learn them from social media, I never had any chance to try the real thing, all I can do is watch them, research a lot and try to recreate it at home in the hope of reproducing the same aroma, look and taste of the real deal. So, our wannabe recipe today is called Bulanghang which I got to know from this Filipino TV show called Pinas Sarap where it was showcased last year.
Bulanghang is one of the dishes that the House of Bulalugaw is so proud of, it is also one of their best sellers. A dish inspired by the Bicol Express but instead of using pork, fatty beef cuts and beef tendons are used, it is also mentioned that is has that nice creamy taste but with a potent spicy kick which you can adjust the spice level to your liking. In the show when it was cooked, they only showed 5 ingredients and it was garlic, onion, oil, precooked beef, and their secret sauce so there will be a lot of guess work involved when I make this but luckily, they also mentioned it was inspired by the Bicol Express so that means a lot. Most of the ones who tried it noticed it was creamier than the Bicol Express which makes me think an evaporated milk and/or the coconut milk is added at the last stage otherwise this will become something like a rendang where meats are cooked with coconut milk until it is rendered giving it a different flavour profile. I also noticed the sauce has that red orange tint which probably is coming from annatto seeds. Now with those in mind I think I have a recipe.
Generously season beef brisket with salt. Set it aside.
In a pot add beef tendons and water, bring to a boil then simmer for 1 1/2 hours in low heat. Remove from heat then set it aside.
In a separate pot, heat oil then brown beef brisket on all sides.
Push beef brisket to the side then add the garlic, shallots, sauté until fragrant then add the annatto powder.
Pour all the beef tendon pot contents including the liquid into the beef brisket pot. Add water enough to cover the meats then bring it to a boil then simmer in low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Bring the heat to high continue to cook until water had greatly reduced and thickened but not dry.
Pour coconut milk, add chillies and sugar then continue to simmer in medium heat for 10 minutes.
Pour evaporated milk then simmer in low heat for 5 more minutes.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, turn off heat then serve.