Beef Afritada with fork-tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers in a rich, flavorful tomato sauce. Hearty and delicious, this Filipino beef stew is always a family favorite!
Like the crispy fried calamari from yesterday, this beef afritada is an old recipe I first posted in 2016 which I am now pushing back in the spotlight with an added video and a few helpful tips.
One of the most popular and most viewed recipes here on Kawaling Pinoy is my version of chicken afritada. Month in and month out, this dish is on the top ten list of what brings the most traffic on the blog and I am not surprised! With flavorful chicken, potatoes, carrots, and crisp bell peppers slow cooked in fresh tomatoes, it's truly a meal the whole family is sure to love.
Today, however, is all about beef afritada. Of the many variants of this ubiquitous Filipino stew, I have to say this is my hands down favorite. I am not big on beef but there's just something about fork-tender meat smothered in a thick, hearty sauce that hits the spot!
This beef afritada is pretty much the same in preparation as the chicken and pork versions wherein the meat is braised in tomato sauce along with chunks of potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. It's an easy dinner meal you can pull together with simple ingredients and in one pan!
Tips on how to make Afritada with Beef:
- Sear the beef properly. Brown the meat on medium-high heat and do not overcrowd the pan to allow the beef contact space to the heated surface. Dry the beef with paper towels as the excess moisture will create steam and will keep the meat from developing a caramelized crust. Be patient and give the meat time to sear before turning.
- Contrary to popular belief, searing meat is not to seal in moisture but to add depth of flavor and a more appealing color. Finish off the stew in the same pan and don't even bother washing or wiping down the pan after browning the beef. Those browned bits add incredible flavor to the stew!
- Pan-fry the potatoes, carrots and bell peppers to help maintain their shape when cooked in the sauce.
- Afritada is very much like adobo in the sense that we all have different preferences on how much sauce we want. You may choose to reduce the liquid until it deliciously clings to the meat and potatoes like in the video or simmer until it thickens to a hearty sauce you can spoon over rice like in the photos.
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into cubes
- ½ green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2- inch cubes
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add potatoes and carrots and cook, turning once or twice until lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Add bell peppers and cook for about 30 to 45 seconds. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Remove oil from the pan except for about 2 tablespoons. Increase heat to medium-high heat. Add beef and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, turn and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not overcrowd the pan, cook in batches as needed. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Add another tablespoon of oil if needed. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring regularly until softened.
- Add beef.
- Add fish sauce and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add crushed tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 1 ½ to 2 hours or until beef is tender.
- Add more water in ½ cup increments as needed if the sauce is drying out before the meat is tender.
- Add potatoes and carrots and continue to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender and sauce is thickened and reduced as desired.
- Add bell peppers and cook for about 1 minute or until tender yet crisp.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.