Kare Kare – Filipino Oxtail Stew

I recall growing up with my dad preparing this Kare Kare using a stove top pressure cooker to get the oxtails tenderized. What I found interesting is how the popularity of oxtails have grown and have become a specialty item. When my dad sourced them he would ask the local butcher if he had any lying around the shop, the butcher would have him come back later and he handed him a brown wrapped package filled with the oxtails which sold for very little money. The best thing about this stew is how the broth made of peanut butter and the collagen and flavor from the oxtails melds together to form a comforting and hearty stew.

The recipe has been adapted for an Instant Pot to help speed up the cooking of the oxtails. Some variations of the dish also add in beef tripe, banana blossoms, and daikon radish but is really up the cook to decide. If using beef tripe, it should be cooked in the same step as the oxtails. Note that Bagoong (sautéed shrimp paste) is normally served with the dish and adds a salty element to it and is an optional condiment.

Ingredients

3 lb | 1.36 kg of oxtails (Ours are sourced from Long Stone Farm)
½ cup | 125 ml of vegetable oil
1 cup | 250 ml of chicken stock
2 tbsp of annatto seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
3 tbsp of peanut butter
1½ tsp | 7.3 g of salt
½ lb | 0.23 kg Chinese long beans or green beans cut into 2-inch lengths
½ lb | 0.23 kg of bok choy, cut into 2-inch lengths
3 Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 2-inch lengths

Cooking

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Saute Button.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in the Inner Pot until shimmering and add the annatto seeds.
  3. Sauté the seeds until the oil turns red; discard the seeds.
  4. Add the oxtails to hot oil and brown them on all sides; once browned place the meat on a plate and proceed to the next step.
  5. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté them until they turn translucent.
  6. Deglaze the pot by adding in the chicken broth and salt.
  7. Bring the broth to a slight boil and then add back the oxtails.
  8. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and press the Pressure Cook/Manual button to 45 minutes on high then quick pressure release.
  9. As the oxtails cook, go ahead and fry the eggplants to desired doneness
  10. Blanch the bok choy and Chinese long beans by boiling them for 2 minutes and then plunging them into an ice water bath for 2 minutes.
  11. Once the oxtails are done, remove them from the pot and set them aside on a plate.
  12. Add the peanut butter to the broth inside the pot and whisk until fully incorporated; taste to correct for seasoning by adding salt and pepper.
  13. After adjusting the seasoning, add the oxtails back into the stew.

Serving

  1. Serve the stew in a bowl with the cooked vegetables along with a side of Bagoong (sautéed shrimp paste – optional) and a heaping serving of jasmine rice.

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