Ama’s Mechado with mixed veggies by chef Waya Araos-Wijanco

Chefs Waya Araos-Wijanco of Gourmet Gypsy Art Café on Maginhawa Street, and Gem Tee of Salta Ristorante in Diliman, Quezon City, recently shared savory and sweet family recipes. 

Araos-Wijanco’s family mechado recipe is a tried-and-tested dish that requires low-and-slow cooking. Served at Gourmet Gypsy Art Café, Ama’s Mechado is a rich dish that uses marbled beef batok cooked in tomatoes, wine and ground liver that can be done in a traditional pot or a slow-cooker. For this recipe, Araos-Wijanco made Ama’s Mechado more special by adding air-fried veggies to balance the flavors.

Chef Tee shared a recipe for Vegan Apple Crumble, a warm and gooey dessert that her family gives as gifts during special occasions. 

“Our family bonding moment is really cooking. We bake a  lot of Apple Crumble trays and give them to neighbors, aunts and uncles during Christmas and Chinese New Year when fruits are aplenty,” Tee said. “Growing up with a Chinese family, we are given fruits by the boxes!”

Tee made the Vegan Apple Crumble healthier by using whole-weat flour and olive oil instead of butter. Her tip was to add brandy and lemon to the apples slices to prevent browning.  

They cooked the items on the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer which has 10 cooking functions aside from Air Fry—Toast, Crumpet, Bake, Roast, Grill, Pizza, Reheat, Warm and Slow Cook.

Ama’s Mechado by chef Waya Araos-Wijanco 

  • 3 kg beef batok, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • ½ kg beef liver
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 60 g garlic, finely chopped
  • 120 g onion, finely chopped
  • 120 g celery, finely chopped
  • 120 g carrots finely chopped
  • 2 kg tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 100 g tomato paste
  • 500 ml red wine
  • 1 L water
  • 4 laurel leaves
  • 10 g smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Air-fried veggies (recipe below)

Season beef cubes with salt and pepper. Heat half of the olive oil and sear the beef in a hot pan until all sides are browned. Do this in batches; do not crowd the pan. Set aside.

Season liver with salt and pepper and grill until well browned. Cut into cubes and blend with water until it forms a smooth paste. Set aside.

In the same pan, add the rest of the olive oil and saute garlic, onion, celery and carrots until soft. Add the tomato paste and keep stirring until the tomato paste and veggies are caramelized and fragrant.

Add the seared beef cubes, pureed liver, red wine and water and bring to a boil. Add the laurel leaves and simmer until tender. Finish by adding smoked paprika and salt and pepper, to taste. 

Air-fried veggies:

  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Baby Corn
  • Mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Coat veggies with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange veggies in the air fryer basket and cook for 8-10 minutes. Arrange on top of the mechado

Vegan apple crumble by chef Gem Tee

Vegan Apple-Pear Crumble

  • 500 g Fuji Apples (or pears or mixed), peeled and sliced
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  • ½ c whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ c quick cooking oats
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsps olive oil

Mix all the apple filling ingredients and set aside. Layer the apple filling  into a 8×8 greased baking dish. Set the Breville Smart Oven to Air Fry, 350 ºF for 25 minutes. 

Prepare the topping. In a bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add the olive oil. Using your fingers, crumble this topping over the apple filling, and make sure that it is even. Air fry for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the apple filling is bubbling on the sides.