Braised Beef with Pork Fat in Tomato Sauce

Mechado is a braised meat dish usually made from beef round roast. A strip of pork fat is inserted in the center of this lean cut of meat.

Filipino mechado recipe basic ingredients are tomato sauce, bay leaf and potatoes and the cooking method is by braising or browning briefly before simmering at a low temperature for hours.

It might interest you to know that the Spanish root word 'mechar' means to lard a meat or stuff meat with fat, which is exactly the process of preparing the beef for this dish.

Nowadays, mechado refers more to the sauce the meat is cooked in, rather than meat with the inserted fat, so you may come across variations made from chicken and pork.

In Manila, you could request your wet market suki or favorite vendors to insert the pork fat on the beef roast, just say it's for Mechado.


  •  Top or Bottom Round Roast
  • Pork Fat
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Potatoes


  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Bay Leaf
  • Salt and Pepper


  • 2 pounds Top or Bottom Round Beef Roast, cut in 2-3 inch tubes
  • 1/2 pound Pork Fat, cut in strips
  • 5-6 Potatoes, cubed
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Vinegar
  • 1 - 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 piece Bay Leaf
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

1    Insert the pork fat by gashing the beef through the center. Season generously with salt and pepper.

2 Sear or brown the beef in a hot deep pan with 3 tablespoons oil. Brown all the sides and remove from heat.

3 Using the same pan, saute the garlic and onion.

4 Add the meat back in with the vinegar, bay leaf, tomato sauce and enough water to cover about 2/3 of the meat.

5 Simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, then put the potatoes in and cook for another 10 - 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

6 To serve, slice the beef about 1/2 inch thick, arrange the potatoes on the side and top everything with the sauce.


  • You can use a skirt steak for this recipe, roll the 1/4 inch thick steak with the pork fat in the middle, then secure the roll with a twine as you would a morcon.
  • Searing or browning the meat before braising seals the moisture in and adds to the flavor of the sauce.

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