The Lasang Pinoy Round-up is up! Check out the other dishes in this fantastic Pinoy feast at Sarap Nito!
When I hear fiesta, memories of feasts long past flood my mind. Despite growing in the city, I have been exposed to many fiestas because my Lola (grandmother) would put a fiesta feast together every May 12, in honor of Sta. Ana’s patron, Nuestra Senora delos Desamparados (Our Lady of the Abandoned).
Fiesta prep would begin days before, with my Lola’s sisters and brother lending a hand to make Ube Halaya (Yam Pudding?), Atsara (Pickled Mixed Veggies), Leche Flan and other things they could cook ahead.
My Lola, the Kapampangan matriarch would oversee cooking on the day itself. Classic Pinoy fare, like Menudo, Mechado, Pinoy-style Fried Chicken, Pancit, Lechon Kawali, Morcon and Budding would be joined by Filipino-style Spaghetti (sweet with red hotdogs :D), Lengua with mushrooms & cream, Sweet & Sour Lapu-lapu, and Chicken in cream with green peas & quail eggs.
Truthfully, I was stumped when Lasang Pinoy 19’s theme was announced. The usual fiesta food is not my forte. Instead, I pushed my mom to the kitchen and asked her to cook, with me playing chronicler instead. Because we still had Morcon-style sheets of beef in the freezer, she decided to try her hand at cooking it. While she’s never tried cooking it before, memories of her mother cooking it were there, plus we had loads of cookbooks to refer to when puzzled.
Morcon is a beef roll stuffed with various things that could include, depending on the cook, sausages or hotdogs, eggs, pickles, pimiento and pork fat. It’s usually served sliced, yielding pretty rolls that are reminiscent of Japanese maki or Korean kimbap. Yes. I immediately thought bento potential. If you guys foresaw that thought, I guess you all know how my mind goes now. ^_^;;
A lot of people serve their morcon sauced with a tomato-based sauce, but since my Lola left her Morcon dry, so did we.
Morcon v. 7 July 2007
- 1 kg kalitiran or round, cut in flat sheets. If you’re it the Philippines, chances are, there’s beef cut and prepared for morcon at your local grocery.
- Juice of 10-12 pieces calamansi, roughly 1/4 cup. Substitute lemon juice if calamansi is unavailable
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup reserved juice from pickles
- whole sweet pickles, quartered lengthwise
- hotdogs, the red Pinoy kind. Sausages would suffice but nothing beats red hotdogs. Halved lengthwise
- hardboiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
- pimientos, sliced into lengthwise strips
- string used for trussing chicken
- oil for frying
- beef stock
- salt & pepper to taste
1. Marinade the beef in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice and the pickle liquid. Let rest for a few hours.
2. Lay the marinated beef flat on a board or cookie sheet. Add strips of hotdog, pickles, egg, and pimientos.
3. Roll the beef, keeping the filling in the center, like you would when rolling maki or kimbap.
4. Tie the roll with string to keep it together.
5. Pan-fry the morcon over high heat. When sufficiently browned, drain of fat.
6. Transfer the seared morcon to a pan, then fill with beef stock and leftover marinade. Simmer for 2 hours or until tender.
7. Drain, then fry to a nice crisp outside.
8. Slice into 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices. Serve.
Note: My Lola used to add a strip of fat as well, but my mom skipped that. Plus, it was one thing I picked out of my morcon as a kid so I’d skip it as well.