We have this routine that my whole family looks forward to every Sunday night. I cook a traditional Filipino meal that often takes hours to make. It’s definitely something that I cannot pull off on a weeknight given our busy schedules and the girls’ activities. Instead, I make something a lot simpler during the week that would take 30-40 minutes maximum to make.
Growing up, my maternal grandmother often cooked for us. So I associate Filipino food often with her and how she nurtured us. In fact, the dish I show here called Menudo is the first dish she prepared for my then-boyfriend/future husband.
The Filipino Menudo is a distant cousin of the Mexican Menudo. Ours is milder and sweeter while the Mexican one is spicier. The word menudo actually means small and that’s why the pork in this dish is cut into small bite-sized pieces.
l lb. pork loin (pork belly if you want to indulge), rinsed and cut in cubes
1/4 lb. pork or chicken liver, rinsed and cut in cubes
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
15 oz. can chickpeas
1 tomato, chopped
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Rinse the pork and liver. Place the cubed meat in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Boil for 10 minutes, discard the water and drain the meat well.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the garlic and sauté for until lightly brown. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the pork and liver and cook until lightly brown. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and then add the carrot, potato, fish sauce. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Add the green and red bell pepper, chickpeas, tomato, tomato sauce, paprika, water and soy sauce. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally.
Add the raisins, salt and pepper. Simmer for five more minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice. Et voila! It is a hearty and filling dish that is ideal for the cool months ahead.