Mechado is a stew dish in tomato sauce. It uses a cooking style similar to other Spanish-inspired Filipino dishes such as Calderata (Kaldereta), Estofado (Estofada), Menudo, Picadillo and Afritada. They all use tomato sauce as a base of the sauce. Just a heads up: you’ll need patience in preparing this recipe and for best results, ensure that the meat are fork-tender before serving.

The original Spanish Mechado was actually a beef stew, but because beef is quite pricy in the Philippines, Filipinos substituted it with either chicken or pork. The Filipinized Mechado recipe also uses soy sauce, probably an influence from the Chinese. During my childhood, my mother prepared the recipe in different combinations: sometimes with pork, sometimes with chicken and sometimes with both. Leftover from dinner was usually served for breakfast, usually reheated in a frying pan. You’ll be surprised that it tastes better!

Most Filipinos eat rice thrice a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes (or maybe oftentimes for some), some also take snacks or merienda with rice! For our dinner, I’ve prepared Chicken and Pork Mechado, which we’d also be eating for our breakfast tomorrow!
Chicken and Pork Mechado _DSC7493 Chicken and Pork Mechado

Chicken and Pork Mechado
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  1. 2-3 tablespoon oil
  2. 1/3 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/3 teaspoon pepper
  4. 1 can (410g) tomato sauce (you can also use tomato puree)
  5. 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  6. 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  7. 1 tablespoon fish sauce (you can adjust if you think it's too salty to you but don’t omit it because it gives extra taste and scent to the dish )
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  10. 1 onion, sliced, chopped
  11. 3 potatoes, peeled, quartered
  12. 2 carrots, peeled, quartered
  13. 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size
  14. 1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-size
  15. 2 cup water
  16. 500g pork hind, cut into big chunks
  17. ½ chicken, cut into 6 parts
  1. In a heavy pot with a lid, heat oil over high heat. Add the potatoes and lightly brown on all sides.
  2. Add in the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly brown on all sides, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding pan. Remove the meat as they are browned.
  3. Empty the pot. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft and golden.
  4. Add the garlic and sauté.
  5. Add in the pork. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
  6. Lower the heat to low-med. Pour in water, tomato sauce, tomato paste, bay leaves and soy sauce. Stir and add the salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  7. Stir and add in the chicken and fish sauce. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  8. Stir. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  9. Check the tenderness of the pork. It should be fork-tender by now. If not, add ½ cup water and simmer for about 15-30 minutes.
  10. Stir. Add the potatoes and carrots. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  11. Add the green and red bell peppers. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  12. Serve with steamed rice.

Chicken and Pork Mechado2

_DSC7489 Chicken and Pork Mechado