Mini Morcon

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.

I’ve written a few pieces on this blog about my memories of learning from these women. You’ll find them here, here and here.

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.

Mini Morcon:

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.

20 Replies to “Mini Morcon”

  1. Hi Mita! That?s a fantastic, mouth-watering entry! I tried doing this dish ages ago and you just made me remember wonderful memories of how I experimented on it. Thank you for joining LP8?

  2. Thanks, Iska! You should have seen the first one I made years ago…it was a disaster even if it tasted great! So, I was determined to get it right after that and it’s really a cinch when someone gives you their secrets. My mom said with morcon, it’s in marinating and slow-cooking, like with most Filipino-Spanish dishes.

  3. welcome to LP, Mita! me too, haven’t had this dish for quite a while…but I know it’s good well, judging with my bulilit palate then…hehe..i will have to try making this myself now that i’m not so bulilit anymore!

  4. hey mita! thanks so much for visiting and a warm welcome to you. so glad you joined us for lasang pinoy. i gather we have much to learn from each other:) — i have an essay i have yet to finish about lactose intolerance, the more i dig the more i find out, i feel like i may have bitten off more than i can chew:D at any rate, you’ve got an awesome first entry to LP — thanks so much for joining us. will be dropping by often!

  5. stef, thanks for visiting and leaving a message. I’m excited silly about LP really….my pleasure. allergies are like irritants, they are there to turn you into the pearl you were meant to be! looking forward to your new blog…

  6. Hi Mitams, I’m glad to find a new Pinoy food blog! More for blog hopping! 😉
    Your post reminded me of my grandfather’s morcon which I really must blog about. Thanks for sharing your family’s recipe. 🙂

  7. Hi Mitams, thanks for joining LP8. Now we have another Pinoy blogger to add to the list! I haven’t had morcon in ages, and you’ve just made me consider trying it at home. This has always been party food for me as that’s the only time I get to taste it 🙂

  8. Hi JMom, thanks for dropping in. I’m so honored to join LP. Morcon is quite easy really. It gives you such a feeling of accomplishment when it’s on the table. Perfect for a kid to gain confidence in the kitchen I’ve always felt.

  9. hi. i like your site. i am a young mom who is trying to cook for her husband. thanks for the tips…

    i have my own blog and i hope you won’t mind if i put your link there. 🙂

    do you have siopao recipes as well? thanks again.

  10. hi weeja, thanks for linking this blog and for dropping by. your blog is interesting…and I can relate cause I just moved to the US just 5 years ago. you’ll get a lot of traffic before you know it….good luck!

  11. angge, yes you can use a pressure cooker for this recipe. some older cooks will probably tell you it won’t be the same but if you give it enough time to marinate, there’s no reason you can’t replicate this in a pressure cooker. don’t overcook it though or you’ll have difficulty slicing the rolls…

  12. i know how to cook this……my grandma use to wrapped morcon with katsa or flour bag before putting it on a boiling water( cooking )…its too expensive to cook morcon at this time

  13. Hi, Mitams! I’ve been searching for a morcon recipe that resembles the one my “ima” used to cook for fiesta & other occasions until I found yours. I plan on making morcon for New Year’s & my hubby’s b-day. Thanks a lot and I’m going to try your recipe. Happy New 2010!!!!

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