August 13, 2008
this dish is one of the family favorites. in our household, it is usually served together with lumpiang shanghai or simply fried fish (fried kabayas in particular). i remember when my brothers and i were little, my father would try and teach us how to use the chopsticks everytime this dish was served. thus, it has become a sort of family tradition that whenever tadtarin was serve, rice cups were used in lieu of plates and ivory chopsticks in lieu of spoons and forks.
i haven’t seen this dish served in restaurants or other household though i’m sure that tadtarin is not exclusive to our house menu. i just don’t know where the ‘tadtarin’ name comes from but a good guess is from the ground beef itself. i remember choleng (my yaya and our cook) would buy sirloin meat with a little fat or round bottom and have it minced with a butcher’s knife as oppose to being grinded in the meat processor. as a result, the minced beef meat is a bit chunkier than the ground beef you can buy in the supermarket. i will not be surprised though if the name for this dish was coined somewhere near my mother’s dirty kitchen or the family dining table.
1/2 kilo sirloin (or bottom round or pork lomo) minced or ground
6 pechay tagalog stalk cut into 1/2 inch length
4 siling mahaba
1 bunch sitaw cut into 3 inch length
2 medium sized tomato diced
1 liter water
1/2 medium sized onion cut lenghtwise
2 beef broth cubes
1 to 1 and 1/4 knorr tamarind cube
1 teaspoon patis
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
season your minced beef meat with salt and pepper and set aside for 30 minutes. in a large wok, saute onions, garlic and tomato in 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. stir in minced beef and let the meat simmer in low heat for about 5 to 8 minutes. add a liter of water, turn heat on to high and let it boil. add the 2 beef broth cubes once water is boiling and turn heat to lowest and let it simmer.
it used to be that the ‘paasim’ used in this dish and sinigang are tamarinds boiled in water and then mixed in the sinigang or tadtarin. but now that tamarind in cubes or in powder form makes cooking easier, use 1 to 1 1/4 of knorr tamarind cubes into the meaty broth, together with the 1 teaspoon of patis. let it simmer until meat is tender. adjust taste in the process and add the 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt. (it is preferable to use fresh tamarinds boiled in water as paasim as it lends the soup with a brownish color as against the pale soup if tamarind cubes are used.)
when meat is tender, add the sitaw and the siling mahaba. let it simmer for another 3-5 minutes or until the sitaw is half-way cooked. add in the pechay tagalog and let it simmer again for 3-5 minutes.
serve with lumpiang shanghai and hot plain rice.
note: for half a kilo of minced beef meat, you can use 1 sampalok in lieu of tamarind cubes. just place the tamarind after having covered the meat with water.