Noche Buena Meal – Morcon

16 Feb

Like all things, my post is mega-delayed (hmmm…)

I came back from my “extended” Christmas holidays in Manila, wishing it was longer and regretting that I haven’t eaten some chicken inasal *sigh*.

Something that I look forward to is the end of the year; since I moved to Australia, I’ve spent six of my seven Christmases in Manila. Nothing (and I mean nothing) compares to a Filipino Christmas – you can feel it everywhere you go; Christmas and it’s undeniable presence! From the traditional Simbang Gabi, to the extended mall hours (bad for the budget!), to the foodie markets and tiangges and of course, my favourite Puto Bumbong and Bibingka (there’s no way I’m going to miss out on any of these!) More importantly, my family are all based in Manila and Christmas won’t be the same if my Christmas Eve dinner wasn’t spent with them.

Well, this month Kulinarya’s theme (which I’m co-hosting! *slaps wrist* – bad host!) is Noche Buena – more specifically a Noche Buena menu.

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and it’s colourful cuisine.  Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes.  By sharing these recipes we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

I have been thinking about my mom’s morcon a few months before Christmas, coincidentally my brother has been as well! So I nagged (and guilted) my mom into making one for us. Morcon was always a Christmas food for me, it was one of those things that only pop up during this season, along with embutido actually.. but for a long time, we haven’t had any for Christmas. I think the last one that I had was way back in College, and that was 11 years ago (man I’m old!).

So here’s my mom’s morcon recipe, (I don’t have measurements, sorry coz as you know these things are made by “feel”):

First off is to marinade the beef (like a long flat one so it can be rolled after, dunno what the cut is, should have asked) in soy sauce, vinegar and pepper. Afterwhich, you layer on raisins, pickle relish, cheddar cheese, hotdogs, boiled eggs, ham, chorizo de bilbao on the beef and then roll everything in. You then secure everything with a string (believe me this takes patience). Once it’s ready you brown it on a pan, remove and on the same pan saute garlic, onion and lots of tomatoes – which you then bring to a boil until the tomatoes turn into a sauce. Place the morcon roll into the sauce and simmer until tender.

Looks easy huh? Well, apart from the string issues, everything is actually quite easy to do. Like most things, this tastes better a day or two after cooking. Of course, you remove the string and then slice them up (in my case chopped) before serving.

Now, as the challenge actually calls for a whole menu and not just a dish, what would I pair this with? For selfish reasons, I asked for this challenge as I’m not good with food pairing and thought I could get some ideas from other Kulinarya members. I, however, know what I want to eat so.. my ideal Christmas menu would be : first off my mom’s morcon, my tito’s (famous) crispy pata, roasted chicken, crabs in garlic and oyster sauce that my mom also makes and Max’s pancit canton (oh I love it, even more than the chicken itself!) and of course, leche flan – lots and lots of it! I know my ideal menu can also cause a mild heart attack a few hours after consuming but what the heck? It’s Christmas and what better way to go than to have all these delicious dishes beforehand?

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