Mechado is a beef dish from the Philippines. The addition of soy sauce and calamansi juice to the marinating liquid gives this recipe its distinct Filipino character.
The traditional dish uses a Spanish culinary practice of threading strips of pork back-fat through thick pieces of cheaper lean beef to render them more tender and less dry. Hence the name mechado from the Spanish mecha meaning wick. The larded pieces of beef are then marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, calamansi juice, crushed garlic, black pepper and bay leaf, browned quickly on all sides in hot oil or lard, and then slowly braised in its marinade with the addition of soup stock, onion slices, and tomato sauce until tender and the liquid is reduced to a thick flavorful gravy.
Over the years, the name of the dish has increasingly come to encompass variations that use thinner slices or even bony cuts of beef and that have dispensed with the larding process altogether. A newer variation of the dish can appear more like a beef stew.
Beef tongue can be similarly treated with little or no variation to produce another dish called lengua mechada.
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