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Beef Caldereta Recipe (Slow-Cooker Stew)

Do you ever crave a savory, hearty beef stew to keep you warm and cozy? Introducing Beef Caldereta, a Spanish-inspired beef stew that will tantalize your taste buds. Bursting with flavor, this classic dish is made in a slow cooker so it’s ready when you are.

Top-down view of a bowl of Caldereta Korean Beef Stew filled with beef and vegetables - Hostess At Heart

Slow-cooked melt-in-your-mouth tender beef and vegetables in a rich tomato-based sauce are sweet and tangy and sure to be a hit with your family and friends

Why You’ll Love This Beef Caldereta

  • Hearty Comfort Food. Nothing says home like a pot full of this hot stew at the end of a hard day.
  • Simple Ingredients. Food does not have to be fancy to taste amazing. These ingredients are probably already in your pantry.
  • Slow cooked meal that makes a tender delicious plate. Start your evening meal at the beginning of your day and save time at the end of the day when you are too tired to cook! It’s a great way to avoid fast food.
  • Enjoy the Leftovers! Just like our Tomatillo Pork Stew, Calareta Stew is better the next day so it’s a great make-ahead recipe.

What is Beef Caldereta?

Caldereta is a Spanish word that means cooking pot or cauldron. It is a tomato-based Stew made from chunks of beef, tomato sauce, and vegetables. This dish can be made with chicken, pork, or goat meat.

Countries often have their own recipes. Filipino stews often called Kalereta include a liver paste. Spanish recipes often include seafood, lamb, or beef. Spices vary among recipes as well.

Beef Caldereta Ingredients

Top down view of the ingredients used in Korean stew including meat, potatoes, onion, garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, corn startch, and peanut butter.
  • Beef Stew Meat – You can buy this meat already cut into small chunks perfect for stewing. If you can’t find it packaged this way, you can purchase a chuck roast and dice it up yourself.
  • Cornstarch – Used for thickening the stew.
  • Salt and Black Pepper – To taste.
  • Cooking Oil. A neutral oil for browning the meat such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or olive oil will work.
  • Onion – Either white or yellow onion, diced.
  • Cloves of Garlic – You can use dried minced garlic, fresh minced garlic, or jarred minced garlic.
  • Beef Broth – If you don’t have beef broth or beef stock, you can make your own by reconstituting bouillon cubes in hot water.
  • Diced Tomatoes – I like to use petite diced. Crushed tomatoes will work in a pinch but will change the flavor.
  • Red Potatoes – My favorite firm potato that doesn’t get mushy or grainy with prolonged cooking times.
  • Large Carrots – You could also use baby carrots.
  • Fish Sauce – If you cannot find this, use Worcestershire sauce.
  • Tomato Paste – For thickness and adds a rich flavor. Nothing bumps up a dish faster.
  • Bay Leaves – Lighten up your dish and remove these before serving.
  • Peanut Butter – It’s the secret ingredient that makes your stew crave-worthy. Try it! A little sweetness. A little nutty flavor. Perfection.
  • Red Bell Pepper – A bright vegetable with flavor. You can use a green bell pepper if you prefer. It does have a different flavor, however. 
  • Frozen Green Peas – Sneak one more vegetable into this dish.

Equipment Needed

Kitchen Tools

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In addition to these main ingredients, you’ll also need a few tools such as a Dutch oven, skillet and crock pot.

How To Make Caldereta

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

Step One: Coat the beef.

In a large zip-top bag, mix the cornstarch with salt and black pepper. Add the stew meat and shake it all up.

Step Two: Brown the beef.

Top-down view of beef seared in a skillet. - Hostess At Heart

Get your oil hot and brown the beef chunks on all sides. This helps prevent the meat from drying out. Move the beef to the slow cooker.

Step Three: Sauté the onions.

Cook the onions, then add garlic and beef broth. Cook for just a couple of minutes. Put it all in the slow cooker.

Step Four: Add more veggies.

To the slow cooker, also add the diced tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, fish sauce, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Place the bay leaves on top. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until the beef is tender.

Step Five: Finish off your beef caldereta.

Top down view of a slow cooker with a layer of fresh peas, red peppers, and peanut butter on top of kaldareta stew.

About 30 minutes prior to serving, add the peanut butter, bell pepper, and peas. Stir to evenly distribute. Re-cover and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve.

What to Serve with this Beef Caldereta Recipe

The dish stands on its own as a meal and covers all the basic food groups making it perfect for family gatherings. Serve over rice or as is with a piece of crusty bread. or, if you want something for contrast, a nice bright salad will be perfect.

Substitutions – Additions – Variations

  • Make it spicy. A small amount of crushed red pepper flakes, one or two chili peppers, or a little hot sauce will add extra heat.
  • Add mushrooms or your favorite vegetables. Turnips, sweet potatoes, or summer squash will all work.
  • Parsnips are a great carrot substitute.
  • Beef for stew can be expensive. Consider cutting up a chuck roast or brisket.
  • Change up the flavors with paprika, cumin, and chili powder.
Angled view of a bowl of Caldareta Beef Stew in a bowl with a slow cooker in the back ground - Hostess At Heart

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Beef for Caldereta?

Tougher cuts of beef such as Beef Chuck, Sirloin, and Short ribs, work well for Calderita since they’re fairly lean and have a lot of connective tissue. When slow-cooked, the proteins in the tissues turn to gelatin making the beef tender. These beef cuts can be less expensive if you purchase a roast and cut it into cubes instead of buying stew meat. 

Can Caldereta be made ahead of time?

Yes, Caldereta is even better once it’s made and then reheated. Caldereta can be made three days in advance and refrigerated.

Can you cook the stew for too long?

Yes, overcooking the stew will result in mushy vegetables and dry beef.

What does a bay leaf do for beef stew?

The aromatics of the bay leaf lighten up a hearty dish.

Beef and vegetable Caldareta stew in a slow cooker with a serving spoon lifting some out for a closeup view - Hostess At Heart

How To Reheat & Store Beef Caldereta

Best Way to Store Caldereta

Keep leftovers of this dish in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days. If you take lunch to work or school, separate the leftovers into individual microwaveable containers for a fantastic mid-day meal.

Can I freeze Caldereta beef?

Yes. Freeze leftovers in an airtight container or individual portion-sized containers that can be frozen and microwaved. It will keep for at least three months.

How to Reheat Beef Caldereta

You can reheat this dish on the stovetop in a saucepan. If you want to reheat individual servings you can place them in the microwave for two to three minutes, stirring halfway through. Add more time as needed to insure a safe temperature of at least 165ºF.

Angled view of a Korean beef stew filled with beef and vegetables in a tomato sauce. Hostess At Heart

Tips for the Perfect Beef Caldereta Recipe

  • If the caldereta beef is too thick, it can be thinned with additional tomato sauce or water. Let it heat thoroughly before adding any additional liquid.
  • If it’s too thin make a slurry of 2:1 ratio of cold water to cornstarch. Start with 2 tablespoons of cold water and stir in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Add it to the hot stew and let it cook until noticeably thicker.
  • The slow cooker works well for this recipe because cooking it low and slow makes the beef tender. It can also be made in a dutch oven, on the stovetop, or baked in the oven.
  • Forget to throw it in the slow cooker? You can also make this dish in your Instant Pot. Follow the same instructions but put it all in the pressure cooker instead. Set it on high pressure for 45 minutes and then quick release.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Top-down view of a tomato-based stew in a bowl - Hostess At Heart

Beef Caldereta Stew Recipe (Slow Cooker)

Author: Julie Menghini
Beef Caldereta, loaded with tender chunks of beef in a rich tomato sauce is a sweet, tangy, and delicious Beef Stew recipe.
4.29 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Filipino, Korean
Keyword: Beef Stew, Caldereta, Kaldereta
Servings: 8

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2.5 lbs beef stew meat
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes (canned)
  • 1 lb red potatoes diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots peeled, halved through the length and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions
 

  • In a large zip-top bag, mix the cornstarch with salt and black pepper. Add the stew meat and seal the bag. Shake and massage the bag until all of the meat is evenly coated.
  • Heat a large (12 inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the skillet. In batches, brown the meat on all sides. Place the meat into the slow cooker.
  • To the skillet, add the diced onion and cook, scraping the bottom to help deglaze the skillet. Add the garlic to the skillet and heat through. Then, add the beef broth, scraping the bottom to remove any remaining pieces. Pour the contents of the skillet into the slow cooker.
  • To the slow cooker, also add the diced tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, fish sauce, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Place the bay leaves on top.
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until the beef is tender.
  • About 30 minutes prior to serving, add the peanut butter, bell pepper, and peas. Stir to evenly distribute. Re-cover and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Taste to adjust seasonings and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 39gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 514mgPotassium: 1086mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3425IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

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Top down view of a bowl of beef Caldereta stew with a spoon lifting a chunk of beef.
4.29 from 7 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Lee Lee

Sunday 28th of January 2024

This recipe is not remotely Korean at all. Caldereta is Filipino.

Abby

Monday 28th of August 2023

This is a Filipino dish and not a Korean dish. I'm not sure what Korean elements you included in this dish? It's quite misleading.

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 30th of August 2023

Not quite accurate there Abby. I appreciate your information, but nothing is misleading. It was thoroughly researched and like many recipes many cuisines are revisions from recipes taken all over the world.

Debi

Thursday 18th of May 2023

I bet everyone will love this recipe. So meaty and nice!

Lynn

Monday 15th of May 2023

A curious combination of ingredients that creates a delightful stew! I love expanding my food repertoire and this is one that definitely does that!

Julie Menghini

Monday 15th of May 2023

Thank you, Lynn! Expanding my repertoire is definitely a delicious food journey.

Peach Garcia

Saturday 13th of May 2023

Are you either Filipino or Korean? Beef caldereta is a Filipino dish, not Korean.

Sharrah

Monday 19th of June 2023

@Peach Garcia, I stand by you on this. No offense, anybody can put their twist on a recipe but Caldereta is a Filipino dish, not a Korean beef stew.

Peach Garcia

Sunday 21st of May 2023

@Julie Menghini, I have no issues with people cooking dishes not indigenous to their country. I take exception to that fact that you lumped Filipino caldereta and Korean beef stew as if they are one and the same. Each Asian country is unique and different, both in culture and cuisine. This smacks of disrespect to both countries.

Julie Menghini

Monday 15th of May 2023

You are correct that Caldereta is a traditional Filipino tomato-based beef stew and if you read my post you will see I indicate this. It was originally created based on Spanish-influences and then modified by the Filipinos to suit their palates, often made from goat and including a liver spread or paté. Like so many recipes, different versions exist according to where they're made. You can find different versions of this recipe in Spain, Mexico, across Latin America, among others. To say you can't make a recipe because you don't claim the heritage is ridiculous. Making foods common to other countries should be celebrated.

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