Papis is a delicious stew of fork-tender beef and tendons and savory beans. It’s hearty, flavorful, and the perfect comfort meal on a chilly night!

One of my favorite purchases from my trip to the Philippines last May is a cookbook called Great Regional Recipes of the Philippines. This book is a culinary gem, its pages filled with a fantastic collection of different dishes, from the spartan food of Northern Luzon, the simple country fare of Central Luzon, the spicy preferences of Bicol, the bon vivant taste of the Visayans to the exotic flavors of Mindanao.

It is an exciting introduction to rich Philippine cuisine and an excellent resource for Filipino cooks. I plan to explore its extensive list of recipes in the coming months, and since I had all the ingredients, I decided to start with Papis.

Papis is a hearty beef stew that originated in Mindanao. Beef shanks and tendons are simmered until fork-tender, and canned pork and beans are added for flavor and texture.

If you love pork and beans in the can, this recipe is a great way to level it up. It’s filling and delicious; perfect comfort food in a bowl!

Ingredient notes

  • Meat– beef shanks and tendons create a collagen-rich flavorful dish. Other than shanks, you can also use other cuts, such as chuck or brisket, which are great for stews.
  • Beans– canned pork and beans, which are packed in a sauce that will also add flavor
  • Onions– base for flavor

The ingredients are simple, and the steps are easy. The only difficult part of this dish is waiting for the meat to slow cook. Tendons notoriously take forever to cook and require hours to reach the perfect stage of tenderness.

Quick Tip

Beef tendons are tough and fibrous connective tissues and are almost impossible to cut uncooked. You can ask the butcher to slice them into serving pieces or halfway during cooking when they’re soft enough to slice through, remove them from the pot, cut them into serving parts, and then return to the pot to continue to cook.

How to serve and store

  • Papis makes a hearty and tasty main dish for lunch or dinner. Serve on its own or with a side of steamed rice.
  • To store leftovers, cool completely and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat to 165 F, stirring regularly. The sauce might congeal due to the high gelatin content.

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