A taste of Filipino comfort on a plate! #FoodieDelight. Dive into a delightful Filipino comfort dish featuring tender tendons, collagen-rich beef, and a luxuriously thick sauce.
I recently had the pleasure of indulging in a dish that’s close to my heart – Tuhod Y Batoc. This hearty and comforting creation hails from the Philippines but carries the rich flavours of Spain, thanks to our shared history as a former Spanish colony for over three centuries.
The dish is a masterpiece of slowly braised beef neck and tendon, married with tender potatoes and vibrant bell peppers, all swimming in a deeply aromatic mushroom sauce. The moment it graced my palate, I knew I had found a culinary gem.
My rendezvous with Tuhod Y Batoc took place at Dulcinea, a renowned establishment known for its pastries and tea, but it also happens to boast an impressive array of Spanish viands for those craving a substantial meal. The star of the show, Dulcinea’s Tuhod Y Batoc, easily serves two hungry souls.
What I love most about this dish is the impeccable tenderness of the meat. It practically melts in your mouth. The vegetables, while submerged in the hearty stew, retain a delightful crispness, especially the sliced peppers, which impart a zesty, almost citrusy note to the dish. It’s the kind of meal you’d want to share with a friend on a grey, rainy day when all you crave is comfort and warmth.
Now, let’s decode the name – Tuhod Y Batoc. These cuts of beef are the heroes here, usually the kneecap (tuhod in Spanish/Tagalog) or shin and neck (batoc in Spanish/Tagalog). The beef undergoes hours of patient stewing, and the result is a broth that’s not only rich but also thickened by all the precious cartilage. A splash of wine adds a touch of elegance, while peppers provide a vibrant contrast. And let’s not forget the carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms – they make the dish wholesomely substantial.
But wait, there’s more! There’s another variation that will remind you of paella, the classic Spanish rice dish. Alba Restaurante Español offers its own rendition – con Tuhod y Batoc, a paella featuring stewed ox-kneecap and chuck. A meal in itself, this paella is a cherished addition to Filipino tables.
Culinary experts in Manila have sung praises of Alba’s paella, claiming that you haven’t truly experienced this Spanish delight until you’ve savoured it at Alba. It’s a symphony of authentic and soulful Spanish cooking that promises to satisfy your cravings for something extraordinary.
So, if you find yourself yearning for a taste of both Spain and the Philippines in a single dish, Tuhod Y Batoc is the answer. It’s a culinary journey that transcends borders, offering a slice of history and culture on every plate.
Start by heating a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and garlic. Sauté until they become fragrant, and the onions turn translucent.
Add the beef neck and/or beef brisket cubes to the pot. Brown them on all sides to develop flavour. You may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Remove the browned beef neck or beef brisket cubes and set them aside.
In the same pot, add the tendons and/or beef kneecaps. Brown the meat on all sides to seal in the flavours.
Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes start to soften.
Pour enough water into the pot to cover the meat and bring it to a boil.
Cover the pot and let the tendons and/or beef kneecaps simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
After 1 1/2 hours, add the browned beef neck and/or beef brisket cubes and chorizo then continue simmer for 1 hour.
Add the quartered potatoes and bay leaf to the pot. Continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the potatoes and meat are tender. You may need to add more water during the simmering process to maintain the desired level of liquid.
Season the stew with fish sauce and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Add the sliced mushrooms, red and green capsicums (bell peppers) to the stew. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
Once the meat, potatoes, and vegetables are tender, and the stew has reached your desired consistency, remove the pot from heat.
Serve over freshly cooked steamed white rice.
If you want to have that unique taste, Spanish chorizo is a must