"Pares" is literally "pairs" in Tagalog. This dish is called such, because when eating, it is paired with rice, or more commonly, noodles. It takes a long time to cook, as you have to ensure that the beef is perfectly soft and tender, but I promise you, it is worth the wait!
What you need:
2 to 3 lb boneless beef chuck roast
a splash of vegetable oil
3 bay leaves
2 star anise
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 to 3/4 cup beef broth
For the sauce:
3 tbsp (or more) light brown sugar
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
a splash of sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
What to do:
Add around 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan and brown the beef on all sides. Meanwhile, put the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and anise in your crock pot or slow cooker. Put the browned beef on top of it. Mix the remaining ingredients together (except the sauce ingredients) and pour it on top of the beef. Cover and cook for 7 to 8 hours.
After such hours have elapsed, remove the spices by straining it, and putting the sauce in a separate bowl. Remove the grease by putting it in a fat separator. Boil the grease-free sauce. Adjust the taste to your liking using the sauce ingredients. When it comes again to a soft boil, turn off the heat and add a splash of sesame oil.
Transfer the beef in a serving platter and pour the sauce on top. Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!
Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks:
1. Add dried orange peel in the crockpot for a hint of citrus flavor.
2. Don't have a fat separator? See the Tips, Tricks and Tweaks section of this recipe to make an improvised version of a fat separator.
3. When adding the cornstarch-water mixture, do so in a slow stream while stirring.
4. The leftovers are perfect for mami-pares! Just shred the meat or cut in small cubes. Use beef broth and egg noodles, then garnish with hard-boiled eggs, roasted garlic and chopped green onions.
5. You can also make it as a filling for siopao (steamed buns). The possibilities are endless!