“This dish, Carne Encebollada- Filipino Beef Pot Roast in Onions, is my ‘pambato’ “ my cousin Lyn said in her email. In Pilipino, ‘pambato’ (say ‘pahm-bah-toh’) means a signature dish, one you have bragging rights to, or the one that defines you, the dish expected of you when there is a party. It is your badge of honor.
This email came to me from half a world away, over 8,000 miles in distance and more than 17 hours in flight time from the east coast of the United States to the Philippines. Most of my recipes are from family, passed around from different generations. After my mom, I leaned on my network of cousins for my recipe sources. One of them is Lyn Besa Gamboa, who lives in Silay City, Philippines, a region south of Manila. Here’s a delightfully easy beef recipe I learned from her. It’s called ‘Carne Encebollada’ and she described it in an email:
“ I learned this recipe from a Gaston friend: simple, saute finely sliced onions in butter until slight brown, brown meat also in the onions and then pour white wine. Of course, salt and freshly ground pepper. I do this in a Le Creuset or any waterless cooker. Best for you maybe to shove in the oven until meat is tender. Like most cooks, I don’t measure. Love, Lyn”
Carne Encebollada is Spanish which translates to ‘meat with onions’. One thing is for sure, if it’s a Filipino recipe with a Spanish-sounding name, then this is clearly the Hispanic influence on Philippine culture. Manay Lyn (say ‘mah-nay’, a term of respect for an elder female relative in the Philippines) sent me an email suggesting I cook this for a family dinner.
After cooking this ‘Carne Encebollada’, I could see why this dish defined her. It was perfect from start to finish, yet it was so easy, it was impossible to mess up. This was sheer easy cooking, even for any kitchen novice. I knew it was nearly cooked when I could hear the simmering broth in the pot bubbling away and I sniffed at the beef- wine aroma that was flowing around fast and furious in the kitchen. When I took it out of the pot and started to slice, the burgundy colored beef nearly fell apart at first touch because it was so tender. I paired this Carne Encebollada with my son Tim’s own signature Homemade Mashed Potatoes, topped the whole entrée with fried onion rings and decided this, too, was going to be my ‘pambato’ from here on. Thanks for the inspiration, Manay Lyn!
It’s nice to have cousins and family back home in the Philippines within an email or phone call away to tap on when I need a recipe!
Carne Encebollada - Filipino Beef Pot Roast in Onions
- 4 pounds whole beef bottom round
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce for marinade
- 2 cloves garlic minced, for marinade
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup butter half a stick
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 whole large white or yellow onions sliced
- 2 to 3 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
- for serving: homemade mashed potatoes
- for garnish: fried onion rings
- Marinate the whole beef cut with Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic. Cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- The next day, in a large Dutch oven, over medium high heat, add the oil and butter. Saute the onions. Cook for 2 minutes till onions are translucent.
- Add the beef and sear over the high heat till it is browned all over, for 8 minutes. Pour the broth, wine, salt and black pepper. Lower heat to a slow simmer. Cook beef till tender for 2 hours or more if needed.
- Cook's comments : If cooking beef in a slow cooker, first pan sear the onions and beef in a large skillet on the stove top. When the onions are translucent and the beef has browned all over after about 8 minutes, transfer the beef and onions into a slow cooker. Add the wine, broth and seasonings. Turn slow cooker on 'High' settings and cook for 6 hours or till beef is tender.
- Hello, Friends! All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos and recipe content I wrote, on your website,books, films, television shows or videos without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content on another website, video, news article,or media outlets mentioned above please ASK my permission, re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]
Disclosure: Instant Pot is the brand name of a multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.