I will never forget the first time I was introduced to beef pares. Back when I was in Quezon City, working very late at night (read as “cramming”) on some project that is due the next day, I would get hungry and really was too tired (lazy) to prepare some grub.
I went out and scoured the neighborhood (Brgy. Pagasa) looking for a place to find sustenance to appease the growling beast in my stomach. I found out that at 2:00 am, the only establishments open are a local burger stand, a few balot vendor stalls, and this beef pares house. I have never tried beef pares before and that is as good a time as it will ever be. So, I went there and sat down on a stool.
I looked at the menu on this huge backlit signboard above the counter. There wasn’t much to choose from, so I ordered the house specialty – Beef Pares.
The well-lit establishment seems to operate round the clock. There were a few groups of customers that stopped by just to grab something to eat on their way home from a night of drinking.
After a few minutes, a young lady brought out a bowl of beef pares. It has chunks of meat, a thick sauce, and topped with chopped chives. She carefully placed it on top of the counter in front of me. The heavy scent of anise permeates the air, which is okay because I love the smell of anise whenever I break open an Asado siopao before eating it. She also brought out a plate of garlic fried rice and a small bowl of beef broth with chives. A perfect set!
The first bite I had is very memorable. The juicy, tender meat is so flavorful! The fat infused meat literally melts in your mouth. The dish has a certain sweetness to it but it does not overwhelm the beef flavor.
The garlic fried rice together with the hot beef broth soup does its job of “resetting” your palate for the next burst of flavor overload. And that marks the start of this lifelong love affair with this dish.
Since then, not a week goes by that I didn’t find myself enjoying this wonderful dish. I love it so much that I decided to learn to make it for myself. This recipe is the fruit of hours of research and trials and I’m proud to share it with you.
- 2 Tbsps Olive Oil
- 1 pc Ginger (thumb-sized), minced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 pc medium-sized Onion, minced
- 2 lbs Beef Brisket, chopped into cubes
- 4 Tbsps Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsps Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Fish sauce optional
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 3 cups Beef Broth
- 5 pcs Star Anise
- 5 stems Scallions, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsps cornstarch
- Set the Instant pot to sauté mode and heat the cooking oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion is translucent.
- Add the beef and stir. Cook until the beef is seared on all sides.
- Pour in the beef broth, and soy sauce. Scrape the brown curds formed at the bottom of the pot and mix it in. Add the sugar, and star anise and place the lid of the pot.
- Set the pot to pressure cook for 30 minutes on high level.
- After 30 minutes, release the pressure inside the pot and open the lid.
- Add the chopped scallions.
- Beef pares is ready for serving.