beef Filipino

Bulalo Steak (Beef Shank Steak)

Friday, January 17, 2014Enz F

Bulalo Steak is a dish made from beef shanks and bone marrows still inside the bones, boiled until meat softens with some garlic, onions and scallions, and topped with cream of mushroom sauce and button mushroom slices. It is a derivation of the native Filipino recipe known as bulalo soup, except that the latter is a clear soup with the beef shanks, boiled for hours until much of the collagen and fats have melted into broth, mixed with some spices, green vegetables and potatoes. Bulalo is very popular and one of the favorite main dishes in the Southern Luzon Philippines, particularly Cavite and Batangas, where you can drive through the finest “Bulalohan” in town or the eateries specializing in bulalo. You can also order this famous dish in many of the high end restaurants as this is actually not the cheapest meat choice available in the menu.

Cholesterol-loaded but irresistible!
Moreover, the key to the tastiness and intense flavor of any bulalo dishes lies in the simmering of the bones until all the meat and tendons attached to it tenderize and slightly disintegrate. This is actually the secret to its distinct taste. The more you boil – the more tender the meat will be and the more savory the dish will become. No wonder most traditional Filipino recipes taste really great as time and patience is of the essence in cooking them. However, if you have a strict calorie diet or your doctor already advised you to avoid fatty foods, this dish is not a healthy choice as it is very high in cholesterol (sad face). Well, at any instance, it is always best to eat in moderation. Simply put, too much of anything is not good. (Oh yeah, I know you would tell me that too much bulalo still means a happy foodie). 

By the way, thanks to my dear friend, Marlon for sharing this cholesterol-overloaded recipe to me. Nevertheless, my tummy was filled and my palate, satisfied. Four thumbs up!

Bulalo Steak (Beef Shank Steak)
Number of servings: 4 to 5

  • 2 lbs. bulalo (beef shank) 
  • 6 to 8 cups water 
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 1 medium size white onion, quartered 
  • 1 canned 420 grams Cream of Mushroom (I used Campbell’s) 
  • 1 small canned button mushroom, drain and sliced 
  • 3 tbsp. butter 
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce 
  • 2-3 tbsp. scallions or parsley, chopped 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1 tsp. whole peppercorn 

  1. In a large cooking pot, pour in the water and add some garlic, onion, scallions, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to boil. 
  2. Add the beef shanks then simmer for 1.5 hours or until the meat is tender. Add more water if necessary. If using a pressure cooker, it should be well done in 30 to 45 minutes. Skim off the scum and excess oil. Let it cool. 
  3. Strain and set aside the beef shank. Reserve the broth. 
  4. In a saucepan, heat the butter, and sauté the remaining garlic and onions. 
  5. Put the cooked beef shank and pour in the beef broth and cream of mushroom. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes over a moderate heat or until the sauce slightly thickens. 
  6. Add in the button mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with soy sauce. 
  7. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining scallions or fresh parsley. 

  1. If the beef shanks are boiled, do not dry them too much. Make sure that 2 to 3 cups of broth will be left. The broth is packed with rich beef flavor, set this aside and use it in preparing the mushroom sauce. 
  2. If you want to enjoy the bone marrow, you may scoop it out after boiling for some time as it may detach from the bone and get dissolved during the long boiling. (Warning: Again, be mindful of the high cholesterol content.) 
  3. Take caution when using pressure cooker. Do not open the pot if still pressurized. 
  4. This dish is best eaten with vegetables on the sides (like steamed young corn, carrots and beans) and consumed while hot as the sauce will get greasy when cooled.

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