Balbacua brings back childhood memories. My grandmother used to sell balbacua in the afternoons and the house was suffused with the smell of simmering balbacua. Her small stall was packed with her loyal customers. Perhaps because I had balbacua most afternoons, I never thought of the dish as something special. It was such an everyday thing, and I remember the peppery beef broth as though it were only yesterday, unlike her karekare which came only on Christmas. My grandmother soon closed her little carinderia and the balbacua episode was forgotten. This was over two decades ago. Imagine my surprise when I later learned that my husband-to-be thinks of the balbacua as a special treat.
Balbacua is said to be a Southern Philippines recipe. It originated from Cebu. There are also very good balbacuahans in Davao City. Recently, I tasted delicious balbacua at the Oarhouse in Mabini St, Malate Manila. The balbacua at the Oarhouse was not the balbacua I remembered from childhood. I hate to say this, but it was better than my lola's version (and I think the world of my lola's recipes). There were certain ingredients that werent present in my childhood balbacua - such as the beans (definitely canned in the Oarhouse version), the peanut butter , and the banana.
How do you cook balbacua? I haven't tried cooking balbacua yet but from what I observed from my lola, this is how it is cooked. Again, this is all theory, I will report again when Ive tried this. Haha.
1 kg Oxtail (sliced)
1 Can Pork and Beans
4 pieces saba (cooking bananas)
spring onion (minced)
1) Assemble the oxtail, beef skin, chopped ginger in stockpot. Pour around 5 cups of water. Add blackpepper. Bring to boil.
2) When the oxtail and beef skin are tender, add the saba, peanut butter, and the pork and beans. Let simmer.
3) Season to taste.
4) Garnish with minced spring onion before serving.
NOTE: This is how Im going to cook it when Im going to cook it. If you guys know how this is actually cooked, I would be quite happy to hear from you.