Main course

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Mechado  is a stew served as a viand in the Philippines. Traditionally, it is cooked with beef briskets, potatoes, pimiento (red bell peppers), and tomatoes. It is similar to a beef stew, with elements of Filipino ingredients such as patis.

This is my version of  Mechado that I call  "the open cans for harried housewives" tomato stew.  When your in a hurry and want something fast to serve your hungry family,  cans of pasta sauce, mushrooms and olives (a must in my pantry) is the way to go. 

In my family, the usual norm is cooking stews during the week days as it is easier to just simmer something away as you go about your other housechores. You can load a laundry, vacuum your floor, etc. etc. Plus the left over stew can be reheated and eaten at a later day in the week.

11/2kilo or 3.3lbs. Pork ribs
1 medium can pasta sauce ( Italian style)
1/4 c water
1 can black olives sliced
1 can mushrooms sliced (button mushrooms)
6cloves garlic
1 small onions
2 bay leaves
juice of half a lemon
salt or patis (fish sauce) to taste
crushed black pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil

Heat oil in stew pan, saute garlic then onions till garlic is slightly brown and onions translucent. Brown pork ribs on both sides. Pour pasta sauce, water and bay leaves, cover and simmer in low heat for about an hour (you can also use, pressure cooker to halve your cooking time). Once pork is tender add mushrooms, olives and juice of half a lemon. Season to taste with pepper, salt or patis.

Just a small tip to make your life easier, when shopping for your groceries, do practice the buying two things at the same time rule. This  holds true for canned goods (specially the ones that your family consumed a lot of)  toiletries, kitchen, bath and laundry soaps, etc., etc. It used to drive my husband crazy when I buy two of each, but now he is so used to my routine, he is confident that whenever we run out of something, he can always find another one in my various hiding closets.

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