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Pocherong Baka (Filipino-Style Beef Pochero)

Filipino beef pochero (beef stew)

Filipino beef pochero (beef stew)

Pochero na Baka (Filipino Beef Stew)

Pochero is a stew that's common in Spain and former Spanish colonies, such as the Philippines. Depending on the specific country, you can find many varieties of this dish.

In the Phillippines, pochero is just one of several popular types of beef stew; we also have mechado and afritada, for example. What makes this particular recipe different is that it does not contain tomatoes or tomato sauce; it also contains the Filipino-style plantain called "saba," aka cardaba banana. It's short and chubby, unlike Latin American plantains. This type of banana is incorporated into many Filipino dishes.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

50 min

1 hour 5 min

4-5 servings


  • 1 pound stewing beef
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 large potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 saba (cardaba banana), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chorizo de bilbao, sliced crosswise 1/2 1/2-inch thick; available at Asian stores
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 2 cups cabbage, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
This is what saba (cardaba) bananas look like.

This is what saba (cardaba) bananas look like.


  1. In a pressure cooker, add the water and beef and cook for about 35 minutes until the beef is tender.
  2. Remove the beef and set aside. Add the potatoes and the saba bananas into the uncovered pressure cooker and boil them in the beef broth for about 5 minutes. Then set the potatoes and bananas aside.
  3. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat and saute the garlic, onions, garbanzo beans, beef, and chorizos for about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the sauteed items back into the pressure cooker containing the beef broth. Add the fish sauce, peppercorns, potatoes, cabbage, and saba bananas. Bring to a boil uncovered, then lower the heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste. Serve hot with steamed rice.


  • Use canned beef broth but omit the fish sauce unless the canned beef broth is unsalted, in which case you'll need to add the fish sauce.
  • Rather than using beef, you can use pork or chicken.
  • Add tomatoes or tomato sauce if desired.
  • Add other vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, or corn.
  • In place of saba bananas, substitute Latin American plantains.
  • Instead of cabbage, use bok choy, or any other green leafy vegetable.
  • If you can't find chorizo de Bilbao (a Spanish sausage that has a very different flavor from the Mexican chorizo), you can substitute any type of sausage.
  • Use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.