Sunday, September 20, 2009

Philippine Beef Salpicao (and a Spanish variation)

Coming up to another deadline, and being totally overwhelmed currently by daily-living-things to devote more time to the blog, we have to take some liberty with this Spanish entry for Regional Recipes.

You see, I first had beef salpicao when I visited Manila several years back. I don't remember the restaurant but I do remember a dimly-lit room with red-checkered tablecloths. I remembered the name of the dish up to now, because aside from being vaguely Spanish-sounding, I remembered digging into tender pieces of beef in a buttery, garlicky sauce with gusto. All that deliciousness somehow got hard-wired into my consciousness.

I was craving something garlicky and buttery and I had a couple of sirloin tip roasts in the fridge. Okay, sirloin tip is not exactly beef tenderloin, but it would have to do. I happen to like the big, beefy flavour of sirloin anyways.

I wanted to make my beef salpicao similar to the one I first tasted so I went online and looked for some recipes. I was apprehensive when I saw that some recipes included Knorr (or Maggi) seasoning and Worcestershire sauce, but given that Knorr/Maggi and Lea & Perrins are often used in Filipino cuisine, I decided to go ahead with them.

Preparing the beef salpicao is fairly straightforward. I mixed my Knorr, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and paprika together with the cubes of beef I had cut up. I let the beef marinate for a couple of hours.

When it was about dinner time, I heated up some oil and started searing the pieces of beef in very hot oil. The key is to get the pieces of beef seared well: in fact, what I wanted to achieve was a kind of caramelized crust on the beef, to contrast with the soft, tenderness inside.

After searing the beef, I put them into a wok and melted a pat of butter with the cubes.

we HEART garlic

I also made some garlic chips for strewing all over the beef cubes. This dish is especially good with steaming white rice.

Spanish variation
When we plated our beef salpicao, I thought it looked very Spanish indeed. Of course, this is not surprising since Filipino cuisine has some roots in the Spanish. The not-so-Spanish elements in this version of beef salpicao, I suppose, would be the Knorr/Maggi seasoning.

To make the dish even more Spanish, I probably would omit the Knorr and lessen the Worcestershire sauce and use a combination of smoked sweet and hot paprika instead of the Hungarian paprika we used.

[eatingclub] Spanish
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Sardinas na Bangus (Milkfish in the style of Sardines)
Red Wine-braised Squid with Potatoes and Chorizo
Philippine Beef Salpicao (and a Spanish variation)
Stewed Tripe, Spanish-style
Lengua Estofada (Beef Tongue Braised in Red Wine and Veal Stock)
Bacalao con Patatas (Baked Salt Cod and Potatoes)
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Grilled Calçots (Green Onions) with Salsa Romesco
Empanada de Pavo
(Galician-style Meat Pie with Turkey Filling), plus Turkey Cracklings!

Fideuá (Spanish Seafood Noodle "Paella")... and Paella
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Beef Salpicao

3 to 4 pounds beef sirloin tip (or beef tenderloin)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Maggi or Knorr seasoning
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika (such as Hungarian)
garlic, as much as you like

butter, as much or as little as you like
garlic slices, as much as you like

Cut beef into cubes, about 1-inch in size. Marinate beef in all the ingredients for at least 2 hours.

To cook, heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. In batches, sear the cubes of beef until well-browned. Set aside. When all the cubes are browned, add them back to the pan and add butter. Cook until butter has melted and the beef is cooked.

Meanwhile, fry garlic slices in olive oil until lightly browned. Be careful and do not let the garlic burn!

Strew garlic chips over the beef and serve immediately. This is great with plain white rice.

Spanish variation:
Omit Knorr/Maggi seasoning in the marinade.
Use only 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce in the marinade (instead of 1/4 cup).
Double the amount of paprika in the marinade, using a combination of Spanish smoked hot paprika and Spanish smoked sweet paprika. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.

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Blazing Hot WokWe're submitting this to Regional Recipes, a blogging event created by Blazing Hot Wok that celebrates food from all over the world.

The region for this edition is Spain. The round-up will be hosted at Blazing Hot Wok and will be posted around/after September 20.

Regional Recipes information

Our Regional Recipes posts:
Greek Meatball Soup (Giouvarlakia)
Simmered Saba Mackerel with Daikon Radish (Saba Oroshi-ni)
Thai Fried Chicken
Roast Pork Belly with Puy Lentils
Beef "Ribbon" Kebab (Pasanda Kabab) with Cilantro Chutney
Canadian Onion Soup with Oka Cheese
Börek with Beef Filling
Korean Pork Bulgogi (with Muu Namul, Kong Namul)
Lobster Congee from a Lobster Feast
Pork Jowl (Pork Cheeks) with Brown Sugar Rub
Beef Salpicao
Cuban Arroz con Salchichas (Yellow Rice with Vienna Sausages)
Cuban Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso (Guava and Cheese Pastries)
Vietnamese Spring Roll (Cha Gio)
Grilled Fish Fillet on Oregano
Pastéli (Greek Sesame Snaps)


  1. This looks awesome and I love the way you used garlic in this!

  2. THat does sound really really tasty

  3. This looks so so so good! I heart garlic too!

  4. Oooh! Delicious! Yes, this dish is definitely one of those Filipino-Spanish blends here :)

  5. Joelen:
    Ohhhh yeah. It was sooooo garlicky!

    Thanks! We'll be trying the more Spanish take on this soon. =)

  6. The best part of this dish is all the garlic! I love it so much. I could eat roasted garlic for dinner.. and do sometimes. I get that from my parents for sure..
    Digital Kitchen Scale

  7. Sylvia:
    Haha... We garlic fiends should stick together.

  8. Being a wayward US navy sailor - there was a place first called the Bonita club then the"Cork room" in Ologapo PI (Subic Bay) there Salpicao was to die for - we we order it extra spicy - Served in a Potato Bird nest - it was the highlight of the night - washed down with two or three dozen San Miguels lol - I have come close to copying it - but to tell the truth - I believe it was the Austrailian beef the set iot apart!

  9. This guy again - If the next morning when you sat on the pot Yoy didn't scream for Ice cream you wasrted your time lol


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