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Nilagang Baka – Filipino Beef Stew with Vegetables – Instant Pot + Stove-top

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Like the rest of the world, my heart is heavy. We are experiencing the coronavirus crisis, a global pandemic that is threatening our lives and that of everyone we know and love.

Our generation has never seen this before. While our parents and grandparents had World War II to endure, this crisis here is ours to bear. But Filipinos are strong and resilient. Whether we live in the Philippines or here in the United States (like me), or wherever else in the world, we, Pinoys, overcome anything life hurls our way. “Kaya natin yan,”  (We can do this) is what we often hear each other encouragingly say.

The best thing we can do is to reach for the comfort of what is familiar and calming. This is why I brought out my recipe for Nilagang Baka – Filipino Beef Short Ribs and Vegetables Stew, when author and friend Cecilia Manguerra Brainard asked me to share something for families on quarantine or lockdown right now.

There is nothing like a good, classic Filipino beef stew, its tender, succulent chunks simmered in a savory broth, swirling in fresh vegetables to ease our souls and calm our hearts in difficult times.

The Filipino Nilagang Baka was easy to cook. The warmth of every bowlful felt like a hug from a good friend. Thank you, Cecilia, for inviting me to be your guest blogger. It felt good to share.

The rituals of mincing the garlic, slicing the onions, scallions and vegetables took my mind off the unbearable news on media. Sautéing, boiling and simmering was satisfying for my nerves.Finally, as I ladled the soup meal into bowls for my family, I sipped the piping-hot, salty, clear broth and it was superb.

That was all I needed to make the days ahead seem better. This Nilagang Baka is all you will need, as well. Stay safe, friends. Take care of yourselves!


Nilagang Baka - Filipino Beef Stew with Vegetables

Nilagang Baka is a Filipino beef stew with vegetables which is simmered in clear broth, and flavored with patis (fish sauce). This is one of the easiest and most basic Philippine dishes to cook. It is also a versatile all-in-one entree which can be served for a family meal or a party event.
I shared how to cook this in 2 alternate ways: either in the Instant Pot multicooker or on the stovetop. Cooking time shown is for the Instant Pot. It takes at least 2 hours on the stovetop. This is a recipe by Elizabeth Ann Quirino.
Cook Time48 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Nilagang Baka
Servings: 4 people
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Instant Pot - 6 or 8 quarts if using pressure cooker
  • Large Stockpot for stovetop cooking


  • 4 pounds beef short ribs, bone-in
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks scallion whites, chopped
  • 8 to 10 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
  • 2 whole large potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 1 bundle Napa cabbage, discard white bottom , slice leaves
  • 2 cups green beans, edges trimmed, sliced 2-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks scallion greens, chopped, for garnish

For serving:

  • steamed rice


To cook stovetop (option 1):

  • In a large stockpot, over medium-high heat, add the oil. Saute the garlic, onions and scallion whites.
    Pour the patis (fish sauce).
  • Add the beef short ribs and broth. Season with salt and pepper.
    Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
    Cover and cook beef for 2 to 3 hours till it is tender and falls off the bone.
  • After beef is cooked, add the potatoes. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes till potatoes are soft.
    Add the Napa cabbage and green beans last. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes more till vegetables are soft.
  • Garnish with chopped scallion greens. Serve warm with steamed rice.

To cook in the Instant Pot (option 2):

  • Click Saute button on keypad. Pour the oil in the inside pot.
    When oil is hot enough in about 2 minutes, saute the garlic, onions, and scallions for 2 minutes. Pour the patis.
    Click Cancel to turn off Saute.
  • Add the beef, and potatoes. Pour the broth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and lock the lid. Set the valve to Sealing.
    Click Meats/Stews and cook on HIgh Pressure for 40 minutes.
    When buzzer sounds to signal cooking is done, do a Quick Release of the valve.
  • Carefully open the lid and place on a dry space on counter.
    Add the cabbage and green beans . Stir to blend.
    Return the cover. Press Keep Warm and let the residual heat cook the greens for about 8 minutes.
  • Garnish with scallion greens. Serve warm with rice.

Cook's comments:

  • it takes about 17 minutes after the Saute function is turned off, for the Instant Pot to come to a High Pressure and begin cooking again. For other multicookers, please consult the manual for exact time and safety measures.

*For the complete recipe of my Nilagang Baka – Beef Short Ribs and Vegetables Stew – in the Instant Pot or stove-top, check out my guest blogpost on ceciliabrainard.com,  the site of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard. Click here.

Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is a prolific author, novelist, journalist and artist. I own several of her novels and have enjoyed her lyrical, exceptional style of writing. They are all good reads especially in these times. Find Cecilia’s books on Amazon.com or where most books are sold.


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.

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.

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