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Beef Pares

Filipino beef pares features braised beef brisket simmered in a sweet, umami-rich sauce with fragrant star anise. Pair it with white or garlic fried rice and a light, savory broth. For another Filipino classic, try my easy Instant Pot arroz caldo!

Beef brisket served over fried rice with clear broth.

What is Beef Pares?

Let’s talk about beef pares, a classic Filipino street food with specialty pares houses reserved for serving this dish alone, each with its unique preparation. The name ‘pares’ means ‘to pair’ in English because this dish brings together tender beef, flavorful garlic fried rice, and a comforting bowl of clear soup for a tasty, well-rounded meal.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive Oil: Sear the beef brisket and cook the vegetables in olive oil.
  • Beef: Select brisket with marbling; the extra fat flavors the broth and helps to tenderize the meat as it braises. You can also use beef short rib.
  • Salt + Pepper: Coat the beef with kosher salt and coarse ground pepper.
  • Onion: Use white or yellow onions.
  • Garlic: I suggest using seven garlic cloves, but measure with your heart.
  • Better than Bouillon: Enhance the flavor of the clear soup with Better than Bouillon, or use a bouillon cube.
  • Black Peppercorns: Flavor the broth with black peppercorns. Crush the peppercorns slightly before adding them for a more intense, peppery taste.
  • Ginger: Enrich the meal with fresh ginger.
  • Bay Leaves: Bay leaves provide a subtle clove-like flavor.
  • Soy SauceSoy sauce is the perfect addition to a meaty braise, like beef pares, adding depth and complexity.
  • Brown Sugar: Sweeten the dish with brown sugar or golden monk fruit for a sugar-free alternative.
  • Star Anise: I mean it when I say that Star Anise is the real star of the meal. You can find it in the spice section of mainstream grocery stores or at your local Indian or Asian markets.
  • Cornstarch: Thicken the sauce with a small amount of cornstarch to give the beef a perfect glazed finish.

Additions and Substitutions

To add more flavor and nutrients to the clear broth soup, simmer beef shanks with bone marrow to make bulalo pares.

How to Make Beef Pares

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

For the Beef Broth:

Step 1: Generously coat the beef with salt and pepper. Then, warm the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and sear the meat until the color changes

Beef searing in a Dutch oven.

Step 2: Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Brisket, onion, and garlic cooking in a Dutch oven.

Step 3: Stir in the water, Better than Bouillon, black peppercorns, ginger slices, and bay leaves; cover and cook for 1 hour until the beef is fork-tender.

Water and the remaining ingredients added to the Dutch oven.

Step 4: Strain the broth through a mesh strainer into a mixing bowl. Gather the beef and discard the solids. Set the broth aside.

Broth strained through a mesh strainer.

For the Beef:

Step 5: Warm the oil in a saute pan and cook the onions until they become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Onions and garlic sautéing in a pan.

Step 6: Stir in the reserved beef, 1 cup of the clear broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, and star anise.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 15- 20 minutes on low-medium heat.

Beef pares ingredients simmering in a pot.

Step 7: Taste and season with salt and pepper. Then, whisk in the cornstarch and simmer until the sauce thickens, for about 5-8 minutes.

Cornstarch added to the cooking beef.

Step 8: Garnish the beef pares with thinly cut scallions and serve with a bowl of reserved clear broth.

Beef brisket served inside of clear broth.

Expert Tips

  • Look for brisket with a good amount of marbling. I recommend purchasing the brisket and cutting it yourself rather than buying pre-cut meat.
  • Sear the beef in oil to lock in moisture and build the base of flavor for the broth.

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Beef brisket served inside of clear broth.

Serving Suggestions

Spoon piping hot garlic fried rice onto a plate or shallow bowl and top it with the tender pieces of beef brisket. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions, fried garlic, or fried shallots, and complete the meal with clear soup on the side. Siomai and steamed white rice are other popular side dishes.

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze  Let the dish cool and transfer the beef and clear soup to separate freezer-safe containers or bags. Beef pares freezes for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the beef and broth in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat  Warm the leftovers on the stovetop or microwave, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does beef pares taste like?

Beef pares made with Chinese influence is savory and sweet, and the star anise flavors every bite.

What kind of meat should I use to make pares?

The most common meat for beef pares is brisket, but you can use beef shank, beef chuck, or short ribs.

More Soup and Stew Recipes:

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Beef brisket served over fried rice with clear broth.

Beef Pares

Tressa Jamil
Few things are as satisfying as Filipino beef pares, made with tender, braised beef brisket and served with garlic fried rice and a savory clear broth.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 148 kcal
Ingredients
  
For the Clear Broth:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef brisket, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt,
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 medium white onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Beef Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 – inch fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
For the Beef:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup broth, (reserved from the clear broth)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Instructions
 

For the Clear Broth:

  • Generously coat the beef with salt and pepper. Then, warm the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and sear the meat until the color changes
  • Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the water, Better than Bouillon, black peppercorns, ginger slices, and bay leaves; cover and cook for 1 hour until the beef is fork-tender.
  • Strain the broth through a mesh strainer into a mixing bowl. Gather the beef and discard the solids. Set the broth aside.

For the Beef:

  • Warm the oil in a saute pan and cook the onions until they become translucent and soften, for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the reserved beef, 1 cup of the clear broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, and star anise. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 15- 20 minutes on low-medium heat.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper. Then, whisk in the cornstarch and simmer until the sauce thickens, for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Garnish the beef with scallions and serve it with a small bowl of clear broth.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • Look for brisket with a good amount of marbling. I recommend purchasing the brisket and cutting it yourself rather than buying pre-cut meat.
  • Sear the beef in oil to lock in moisture and build the base of flavor for the broth.
  •  
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Beef & Broth | Calories: 148 kcal | Carbohydrates: 21 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 6 g | Sodium: 1768 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 8 g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 7 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Jomelyn Mauermann

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

As a Filipino, I love beef pares! I can't wait to try your recipe, as I have never tried it before, but I love this dish!

Tressa Jamil

Wednesday 27th of September 2023

I love pares, too! Once you try it be sure to come back and let me know what you think.

Karina

Monday 25th of September 2023

I will be making this recipe during soup season for sure. We usually smoke brisket but the thought of having it simmer in all those flavors sounds like the perfect dinner this Fall.

Tressa Jamil

Monday 25th of September 2023

Yes, we usually make brisket in the oven since we don't have a smoker, but this braised brisket is unreal. You have to eat it with garlic fried rice.

Milena

Monday 25th of September 2023

This sounds delicious and easy to make. I think it will be great with mashed potatoes. Definitely will save it for later.

Tressa Jamil

Monday 25th of September 2023

I have never served it with mashed potatoes, but sound like a great idea. You will have to let me know what you think once you've tried it.

Carlos Santos

Friday 26th of May 2023

The braised beef melts in your mouth with all the soy sauce, brown sugar, and spices. The clear beef broth adds a perfect finishing touch.

Tressa Jamil

Friday 26th of May 2023

Melts in your mouth is such a good way to put it! Thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe.

Isabel Ramirez

Friday 26th of May 2023

I prepared Beef Pares for my family and they couldn't get enough! The tender brisket soaked up all the soy sauce, ginger, and star anise. And that clear beef broth? Absolutely heavenly!

Tressa Jamil

Friday 26th of May 2023

Wow, thank you for taking the time to comment. I am so glad you and your family enjoyed the meal. It's a winner when the whole family is happy, right?