Afritada is a simple meat stew with potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. Its very easy to make and quick to cook. It’s a classic Pinoy dish of just put it together and it will be awesome when its done, lol.
When I was younger, I used to ask what’s the difference between menudo, caldereta, mechado, and afritada. It’s a bit confusing even to Filipinos.
One of the difference seems to be how to cook afritada. While the others is simmered for a long time, you can quickly cook afritada in under 30 minutes. This is the best bet when you’re wanting a tomato dish but needs to have it cooked quickly.
The ingredients are also different. Out of all the tomato dishes we have inherited from the Spanish, Afritada may be the simplest one. It’s just stewed pork. It also has less ingredients and more budget friendly. The basic for this pork dish is only tomato sauce, meat (pork or chicken), potato, carrots, and bell pepper. Other have a lot more like menudo has liver and raisins. Of all the dishes, afritada is closest to mechado in terms of ingredients and the difference is that mechado has soy sauce.
Another key difference might be the cut and type of meat. Menudo has very small cut of pork. from the from the Spanish small cut. Caldereta is beef or goat meat big and is usually with the bones, and the classic Filipino Mechado (also beef) is shaped like a log.
Do you have anything to add or to share? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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