When I was in the Philippines, I used to prepare Kare-kare by cooking the whole ox tail, cut in about 2 inches lengths and a bit of the beef skin overnight using charcoal. I would fill our "kalan" with lots of coal and just leave it boiling in a big pot with lots of water in it. It wasn't actually as tedious as others thought. The thing is, you just have to know whether the meat is done or not. You know that the oxtail pieces are ready if you can poke them and the skin with a fork and they are as soft as a chiffon cake.
Now that I am not in the Philippines anymore, a pound of oxtail is so expensive and the skin is discarded by the shop before it even makes it to the shelves. The real atchuete could hardly be found. I noticed though that our importers from the Philippines are learning what to export these days although the ready mixes have become helpful to me now. I learned from my friends that they use tripe instead of the skin. I now use a combination of tripe, brisket and oxtail and lately i also started using the pressure cooker instead of the coal. I still do not get the taste I used to have when I was in the Philippines, but better than nothing, anyway.
1/2 lb of tripe sliced in bite sizes
1/2 lb of brisket
1 lb of ox tail
2 medium eggplant, cut in about 1.5 inches lengths
1 can of canned banana blossoms
about 10 pcs of long beans cut in 1.5 inches lengths
2 packs of Mama Sita Kare-kare Mix
1/2 cup of peanut butter
Cook the tripe, brisket and ox tail in a pressure cooker. Adding about 6 cups of water. Cook for about an hour. Once cooked, add the eggplant, banana blossoms and long beans. Add also the peanut butter. Mix kare-kare mix in 1/4 of water and add to the pot and stirring the pot occasionally to avoid the mix from burning at the bottom of the pot. Add the pechay last and make sure you don't overcook.
Serve with Guinisang Alamang (Shrimp Fry)