~Beef Lauya, Photo by JMorton
~Beef Lauya, Photo by JMorton
Beef Lauya Recipe
Lauya is an Ilocano (people from Northern Luzon in the Philippines) dish, which is much loved by our family. It was a special treat as meat was rather a seldom ingredient to our family meals whilst still leaving in Marag, Luna, Kalinga-Apayao in the 70s.
We kept pigs, geese, ducks and chicken, but they were more like well loved pets rather than the ‘fatted calf’ for feasting or everyday food.
There were no markets either. You planted what you would eat or go foraging in the forest, go fishing in the nearest river. lake or lagoon for subsistence.
We lived on a healthier diet of fish, shrimp, prawns, bisukol (escargot) and vegetables though. Although once in a while, my father would come home with wild boar or wild deer after going hunting at night with his brothers or friends. It was a tradition or accepted etiquette to share the meat to your friends, neighbours and relatives and therefore, not a great deal was left for the family; I supposed it was only right as there was no working refrigeration then. To preserve the meat, it had to be salted and dried like tapas. It can then be stored and then fried when needed. I did not really like them much as they were so tough, I might as well be trying to gnaw a leather shoe.
What I did enjoy is a dish called lauya. The meat, which usually come from wild boar (baboy damo in Tagalog language or alingo in Ilocano) was so delicious. The meat is boiled for at least a couple of hours until the meat is coming of the bones and the sweet, fat marrows can be sucked out from the bones. This brings back childhood memory.
The lauya process of cooking can be applied to most meat. With spices, you can sweat out flu and cold.
Lauya is a good recipe for cheaper cuts of beef.
Recipe follows below:
3 lbs beef shank (bone-in), cut into serving pieces
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and crushed (the amount is according to your taste; I love spicy lauya so I tend to add sliced ginger from a big chunk)
1tsp whole black peppers
1 small green cabbage, halved and cored
1 bok choy
Fish sauce or salt to taste
Put beef in a big pot and cover with water. Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
Skim off the scum on the surface.
Add the ginger, garlic, onion and whole peppercorns (black pepper).
Reduce the heat and cover the pot and leave to simmer for at least two hours or until the meat is tender. Check on the meat once in a while to ensure that it has not boiled dry. Add more water if necessary. Remember this dish is soupy, the soup will be so heavenly.
Increase the heat a little and then add the potatoes or any other vegetable you fancy, even plantain; cook for 10 minutes.
Add cabbage and bok choy or pechay and cook for another 5 minutes.
Season with more salt or by adding fish sauce, if using.
Serve with freshly boiled rice or if several types of vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and yams have been added, this soup can be a one dish meal.
If eating it with boiled rice, a little dish of fish sauce generously drizzled with calamansi or lemon is a delicious side.