Friday, March 27, 2020

Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Ann Quirino's Beef Nilaga Short Ribs & Vegetables Stew

My Guest Blogger is Elizabeth Ann Quirino who shares with us one of her recipes, a favorite Filipino comfort food, Nilagang Baka - Beef Nilaga Short Ribs and Vegetables Stew.

Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino, based in New Jersey, is a journalist, and a multi-award-winner of the Plaridel Writing Awards and has been a recipient of the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Awards. She is the author of three cookbooks Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Food in a Multicooker Pot; My Mother’s Philippine Recipes and How To Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks. She has co-edited the history book Statesman and Survivor: Elpidio Quirino, 6th President of the Philippines; and illustrated/created the food coloring book Color and Cook. All her books are sold on Amazon. She is a correspondent for Positively Filipino online magazine; and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site

Betty Ann, as she is fondly called, was born in the Philippines and raised in Tarlac province where her way of life was molded early on by her parents’ farming and agricultural business. From the time she was a little girl, Betty Ann learned how to cook traditional Philippine dishes from her mother and has transformed these culinary skills to modern day Filipino cooking in her American kitchen. Betty Ann is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP-New York); the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance; the Association of Culinary Historians of the Philippines. She is also on the board of advisers of the President Elpidio Quirino Foundation.


Nilagang Baka - Beef Nilaga Short Ribs and Vegetables Stew:
Instant Pot + Stove-top

By Elizabeth Ann Quirino

My mother always said “If you can boil water, you can make nilaga.” This is why I cook this classic Filipino dish when I don’t want to overthink a recipe. Nilagang Baka or Beef Nilaga Short Ribs and Vegetables is a classic Filipino one-pot meal of beef and vegetables boiled in clear broth and flavored with "patis" or fish sauce. This is one of the easiest and most basic dishes to prepare because ingredients are pantry staples. This is also ideal for those learning how to cook Philippine cuisine for the first time.

As we go through uncertain times, serve your family piping-hot servings of Nilagang Baka, with its tender, fall-off-the bone beef chunks and fresh vegetables swirling in a savory broth. It’s like a warm hug in a bowl. This recipe and a video first published on

*I offer two alternative ways to cook this in the procedure: The traditional stovetop way, or a faster way in the currently popular Instant Pot multicooker.

You may also check out the Youtube video showing the ingredients and how to cook this. Click here:

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Cooking Time: Stovetop – 3 hours; Instant Pot – 48 minutes
Servings: 4 people

  • 4 pounds beef short ribs bone-in
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil for saute
  • 1 whole large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 stalks scallion whites use white parts only, chopped
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
  • 2 large potatoes peeled, quartered
  • 1 bundle Napa cabbage discard white bottom, slice leaves in large shreds
  • 2 cups green beans sliced in 2-inch pieces, ends trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
  • 2 stalks scallion greens, chopped for garnish
  • steamed rice for serving

To cook stovetop:
  1. In a large stockpot, over medium high heat add the vegetable oil. Sauté the garlic and onions. Add the scallions. Pour the patis (fish sauce).
  2. Add the beef short ribs and beef broth. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and continue cooking over a low simmer. Cook beef short ribs for 2 to 3 hours over low heat till it is soft and tender and falls off the bone.
  3. After 3 hours and the meat is soft, add the potatoes and cook for another 25 minutes more. Lastly, add the Napa cabbage and green beans. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes more till greens are soft and cooked. Garnish with chopped scallion greens. 
  4. Serve the soup meal while piping hot with additional patis (fish sauce) dipping sauces on the side and a bowl of rice.
To cook in the Instant Pot:

Click Sauté button on keypad. Pour the oil into the inside pot. When oil is hot enough, sauté the garlic, onions and scallions for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the patis.

Click Cancel to turn off Sauté.

Add the beef, potatoes and broth. Season with salt and black pepper.

Cover and lock the lid. Make sure valve is set 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. Add the cabbage and green beans. Stir for ingredients to blend.

Cover and press Keep Warm for 8 minutes. The vegetable greens should cook by then. Garnish with scallion greens.

Serve warm with the broth as soup. Serve with rice.

*Note: It takes about 17 minutes after the Sauté function is turned off, for the Instant Pot to come to a High Pressure and begin cooking again. For other multi-cooker or pressure cooker brands, please consult the manual for exact time.

Read also:
This is also published in Cecilia Brainard's site. 
Poetry by Elmer Omar Pizo (Cecilia's Guest Blogger) 
Diona Filipino Poetry by Ralph Semino Galan (Cecilia's Guest Blogger) 

Tags: Philippines, Filipino, cooking, recipes, stews, food, soup, Pinoy

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