Iska of Edible Experiments invited me to join this Filipino food blogger’s event now going on its 8th edition. I’m honored to be invited.
Before I started this blog, I was a regular lurker at other Filipino food blogs and thought the Lasang Pinoy Events were a great way to bring together virtual strangers with common roots and interests.
This Eighth Edition is called, “Kusinang Bulilit, Lutong Paslit” or “Children’s Kitchen, Children’s Cooking.” The focus is on families and childhood memories – already made and yet to be made.
The Filipino’s life is centered around his family – a cacophony of brothers and sisters, aunts and?uncles, grandparents and grandaunts, plus a myriad of cousins. Get-togethers and events are always celebrated with lots of food – sometimes as many branches of relatives represented at the get-together.
I do have a lot of memories of the kitchen, my grandmother, my mother and my Eldest Sister. Aside from my aunts and uncles on my mother’s side, they were my biggest influences who shaped my whole attitude toward food and cooking.
But for this particular edition, I’m making a Morcon dish which we prepared on occasion at my mother’s house. She was the one who told me all about this dish, it’s place in the family history (yes…honestly!) and all the “kwento” related to it.
She was the one who patiently taught me how to prepare the meat and how to roll it up, how to walk away so it will stew properly. She also allowed me to make my own mistakes when I got nervous rolling it up. That was the time she probably tried hardest to stop herself breathing down my neck.
Afterwards, when I noticed what I had done wrong, she’d tell me gently how I could do it another way – next time. There’s always going to be a next time with my mother.
This is a Filipino dish that’s ideal to serve when you have non-Filipino guests for dinner. It looks great at the dinner table and does not have exotic ingredients that the uninitiated or the timid may turn away from.
This is a family recipe which I have altered mainly in size and in finishing the sauce. I started this recipe without exact measurements, please use your individual taste to guide you.
1 lb. beef round rouladen (about 4 pieces)
1/8 c. soy sauce
1 tbsp. lemon or calamansi juice
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 small bay leaf
1/2 c. tomato sauce
ground black pepper
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
1 whole sweet pickle, quartered lengthwise
1 piece chorizo bilbao, cut in 8 lengthwise
1 thin carrot, quartered lengthwise or 8 baby carrots
strips of red pimientos
4 pieces cheddar or queso de bola cheese sticks, about 3 by .5 inches
2 tbsps. butter
First, let’s talk about the meat. Round of beef is the best to use. Supermarkets carry rouladen cuts that you can use as is. If you can’t find this, a whole round will do. Using a sharp, long knife make thin strips about 8-10 inches in width and 4-6 inches in length and an eight of an inch thick. There’s no need to get it paper-thin, it’s harder to roll up when the meat is cut too thin.
Marinate the beef in the next 7 ingredients. Cover and leave overnight in the refrigerator.
Next, lay out the rest of the ingredients on a plate. On a long chopping board, lay out one piece of the beef and add a slice each of the egg, chorizo, cheese, pimiento, pickle, carrot and bacon on one end. Roll tightly and secure with kitchen twine. Repeat.
TIP: Make sure you lay your strips of filling parallel to the grain of the meat.
Heat a wok or stockpot with a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Brown the roulades on all sides. Put in the marinade with the meat. Add a cup of water. Bring this to a boil and allow to simmer for an hour. Check for seasonings.
Remove roulades from the pot and allow to cool. Meantime, strain and reduce the cooking liquids to about half a cup. Add a tablespoon or two of butter and take off the heat.
When your morcon rolls are cool, cut off kicthen twine. Slice thin and arrange on a plate. Serve with the sauce on the side.