Pochero is a type of stew originally from Spain. It comes from the Spanish word “puchero” which means “stewpot”.
The dish is similar to the cocido of Spain with colorants such as paprika. It uses local ingredients which vary from one region to another. In Spain chickpeas are widely used.
In the Philippines, like in most other countries, every region has its own type of cuisine. Pochero is the Cebuano version of Tagalog Bulalo which is one of the most popular stews in the country. It’s basically the same thing with a couple of different local ingredients.
When I was on vacation in the Queen City of the South “Cebu City” Philippines we went out for dinner somewhere in F. Ramos Street, Ramos. My mother ordered their specialty called “Pochero” or Cebu Style Bulalo. It smelled so good and tasted so delicious, but it was so expensive. I thought why not make it at home?
I researched the recipe and thanks to Overseas Pinoy Cooking I was able to make it. My family and neighbors loved it. I saved money and dinner was yummy! Here’s the recipe!
1 to 1.5 kilo bulalo, beef shank, in one piece
2 bundles pechay, trimmed
1/2 medium size cabbage, cut into wedges
4 young sweet corn in cob, cut in halves
1/4 kilo sliced bamboo shoot, pre-boiled
1 whole garlic
1 tbsp peppercorn
2 medium size whole onion
2 medium size onion, quartered
1 bundle chives or spring onion, cut in 2” length
salt to taste
Place the whole beef shank in a large casserole.
Cover with water.
Add the whole onion, garlic and peppercorns.
Bring to a boil, remove scum that rises.
Lower heat, cover and simmer/slow cook for 3-4 hours or until the beef tendons are tender.
Remove the now tender beef shank from the casserole and keep aside.
Place the remaining broth in a big bowl, set aside.
Wash the casserole of all scum, using a sieve strain the broth and replace in the same casserole, add more water as necessary.
Add in the bamboo shoot and sweet corn, bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sweet corn are cooked.
Season with salt to taste.
Add in the beef shank, cabbage and pechay, cook for another 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are just cook, garnish with chives or spring onion.
Transfer in a big serving bowl and serve at once with a dipping sauce of patis, kalamansi and siling labuyo.