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Filipino Beef Estofado

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]AsianInAmericaBeefStewWPotatoesHorizAs I write this, I am counting the days when my boys will be home for the holidays. My sons will come home to stews like this classic Filipino Beef Estofado  simmering on the stove, roasts roasting, adobo garlicky aromas filling the air, buttery bibingkas and ensaimadas freshly baked from the oven, gifts under the tree, stories shared, loud laughter in the house, selfies taken and more Christmas memories. We are blessed and life is good.

My mom, Lulu made Christmas magical for us when I was growing up in the Philippines. Every year she cooked a feast, had lots of presents festively wrapped under the tree and the house was beautifully decorated. Most of all, she reminded us of what was important during the season. Even in the last years before she died, when her health was failing mom managed to make our Christmases meaningful.

One of the Philippine holiday dishes mom always whipped up was a large beef casserole, often cooked with Spanish influences. This was always one of mom’s specialties and she loved to make it for family and friends. Beef has always been an expensive ingredient in the Philippines. So if my mom cooked a beef dish for you, it meant you were special. I learned early on not to mess up cooking beef. The trick was to find the easiest dish to prepare.

This is also known as Estofado de Vaca, a Spanish-style Beef Stew. It’s one of those recipes where you just drop everything in a stock pot and let it cook by itself. When I stirred this stew, the thick, rich gravy surrounded the tender chunks of beef and quartered potatoes nestled next to them. The heady aromas of the onions and beef simmered for a while in wine and seasonings gave me luscious visions of pouring everything on steaming white jasmine rice.

As a mom myself I’ve tried to carry on family traditions which my mother did. No matter where we lived in the world, when it was Christmas, our faith, family and lots of good food always defined us.

I believe traditions connect us to the past and the future.
It makes me feel that my late parents are still part of our lives even when they’re no longer here.
Best of all, tradition means preserving the good times.

From our home to yours, my dear friends and readers I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat!


Filipino Beef Estofado

The Filipino Beef Estofado is a Spanish-style Beef Stew that is an easy all-in-one meal to cook . The richness of this hearty stew cooked in wine, broth and seasonings, makes any event special. This recipe was adapted from “The Alba Cookbook of Senor Anastacio de Alba and Miguel de Alba”, edited by Nancy Reyes-Lumen. Serves 6 to 8.
*I share 3 alternate ways to cook this: Stove-top, in the Slow Cooker, or in the Instant Pot
Cooking time indicated here is for the Instant Pot. Cooking on the stove-top and in the slow-cooker takes longer.
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino, Spanish
Keyword: Filipino Beef Estofado Stew
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 737kcal
Author: Asian in America


  • Instant Pot multicooker - 6 quarts or 8 quarts.


  • 4 to 5 pounds beef brisket cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 4 to 5 cups beef broth
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads garlic keep the skin on
  • 1 whole large onion sliced
  • 2 pieces bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 whole large carrot peeled, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 whole large potatoes peeled, quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley chopped, for garnish
  • for serving: boiled white rice


  • To cook stove-top: Over medium high heat, in a large stockpot, place the beef chunks with all the ingredients, except the carrots and potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook the beef on high heat for 20 minutes.
  • Then reduce the heat to low. Keep covered and cook longer for 1 ½ to 2 hours or till beef is fork tender.
  • Add the potatoes and carrots at the last 30 minutes of cooking. When cooked, garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley. Serve with boiled jasmine white rice.
  • To cook in a Slow Cooker:  I have also cooked this Spanish Beef Stew in a slow cooker (Crock Pot), at a setting of High, for 5 to 6 hours. I added the potatoes and carrots at the last 45 minutes of cooking.
  • To cook in the Instant Pot: 
  • Place all the ingredients (except the parsley and cooked rice) in the inside pot of the Instant Pot or most multi-cooker pots.
  • Secure the lid. Check that the release valve is set to Sealing. Check that the cooking pressure is on High.
  • Select Manual and cook at High Pressure for 40 minutes.
  • When cooking is complete, do a quick release and switch Cancel to turn off Instant Pot.
  • Carefully open the lid. Arrange in a serving bowl or platter and garnish with parsley. Serve warm with rice.
  • Hello, Friends! All the images and content here are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to use my photos or content on your website, videos, articles, books, television programs or media content  without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content, 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.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 737kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 65g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 1228mg | Potassium: 1176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 7mg

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-QuirinoBuy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

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.

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  1. Betty Ann, I can hear the excitement in your words as you write about your boys returning home for the holidays. Our son is a senior in high school so I’m sure next year I’ll be having those same feelings of anticipation. Thank you for sharing this special beef recipe with us. It sounds perfect for the holidays. Merry Christmas and all good things in the New Year, my friend!

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