ka reh ka REH
Peanut butter stew, commonly made with oxtail, tripe, assorted cuts of beef or goat, eggplant, sitaw (Chinese long beans), bok choy, and banana blossoms and is served with sauteed bagoong mixed with calamansi. This dish is comfort food for many, but is strangely foreign to me. I'm allergic to peanuts, and was never able to even taste it when my mom would make it for dinner. I would usually eat adobo or bistek while my family feasted on vegetables slathered in a gelatin rich, almost pudding-like, yellow stew coating just as easily the tender meat and tendons attached just barely to vertebrae after a long barrage of braising, periodically dipping their spoons in a hot pink paste. Today, I had kare kare for the first time, and I get it now, though it'll still be a while before I consider it as comfort food. For now it will have to just be something I can't wait to try again.
I'm still allergic to peanuts, I made mine with cashew butter.
It is easiest to make this in a pressure cooker, you can braise in a stock pot if you want, but it will take like 3-4 hours, just warning. You can also use a crock pot.
3 lbs oxtail, beef shank, cleaned tripe, or goat
1 tbsp atsuete(annatto) seeds
1/4 cup ground toasted rice*
3/4 cup peanut butter (or any other nut butter if you have an allergy)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 heads bok choy
1 bundle Chinese long beans (optional)
2 Japanese eggplant, cubed
2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
salt and pepper
6 cups water
Most recipes I see say throw everything into a pot and braise. The westernized Filipino that watches too much TV sees a missed opportunity to add some flavor, so I modernize a bit with some browning action.
Season oxtails, beef shank and/or goat pieces on all sides with salt. Brown in oil in a pressure cooker on all sides in small batches, being careful not to crowd the pot. Remove and reserve. Reduce heat and add annatto seeds to oil and color the oil a deep reddish orange. Remove the seeds and discard, reserve colored oil in pot. Increase heat to high and add onions and garlic and brown. Return meats/offal and add 5 cups of the water. Stir in the ground toasted rice into the remaining cup to make a slurry and add to the pot. Add the peanut butter and patis. Bring to pressure and pressure cook for 45 minutes. Release under cold running water. Taste for salt and pepper. Return to stove on medium heat. Add vegetables and fold to combine, do this carefully, the oxtails are really tender and you don't want them to fall apart. Cook until vegetables are tender. Serve over rice and with prepared bagoong. To prepare the bagoong, mix about 1:1 with calamansi juice or lime/lemon juice. To eat, take a small amount of bagoong on the tip of your spoon and scoop rice and stew with it.
You can buy this, but why when you can make it easily? Toast a heaping 1/4 cup of rice in a dry stainless skillet or wok (NOT nonstick, the pan will get very hot). Toss periodically, toasting until a golden brown (not black). Grind in a mortar and pestle or a coffee/spice grinder. The best rice to use is glutinous rice, but you can use any short grain you have access to.
I hear you can make this spicy with some chilies, but I've never tried it. True story: today really was the first time I've ever had this.