Filipino Menudo Two-Ways: the typical Filipino way and as a Pot Pie with a few creative substitutions.
Menudo, from the word minuto, meaning minute or small, referring to the bits of meat in a stew. It shares the name with a peppery red soup from Mexico (also called Pancita or Mondongo, depending on the region) but its main ingredients are beef tripe (tiyan ng baka) and hominy (binatog). Meanwhile, the Filipino Menudo, a dish commonly served during fiestas or special occasions are bite-sized pieces of pork (usually pork shoulder) and pork liver with a bevy of same-sized vegetables stewed in tomatoes.
What makes a Menudo menudo?
The essentials of a Filipino Menudo for me should have the distinctive nibble cuts of the meat and vegetables. This is inherent to its name. You want the cuts to be big enough to hold its shape during the long cook but small enough to fit ALL the ingredients (meat, veggies, rice and sauce) in one big bite.
Another important Filipino Menudo characteristic is that IT SHOULD HAVE SMALL LIVER PIECES. You remove the liver and becomes an afritada, or ginamay. You mash the liver so it becomes disintegrated, then it becomes a kaldereta. Leave the liver as it should be or simply don’t call it Menudo.
There has been heated discussions, funny memes and videos on the differences of Menudo, Mechado, Afritada and Kaldereta. I find that this article is history-dense that it is a substantial read if you want some sort of clarity. BUT I plan to write something about this in a future post but for now let us get back to Menudo.
Philippine Cooking Methods Used
There are several cooking methods used in Menudo but here are two common Filipino cooking procedures. I figured it would be nice to share with you some cultural cooking terms I used to hear my grandma say.
Sangkutsa came from the Spanish word salcochar meaning to boil in salt and water. This is done to parcook the meat to extend its shelf life because of the high humidity in the islands and lack of refrigeration. This step also gives another layer of flavor.
Guisado in Philippine homecooking usually refers to the most common aromatic base flavors of our country- a saute of garlic, onion and tomatoes.
My Filipino Menudo Two-Ways Version
My seemingly creative Filipino Menudo versions are merely a result of three things: 1) lack of ingredients to create a traditional one; 2) using ingredients I have on hand
before it goes bad; and 3) I only put the ingredients, veggies to be exact, that I want without sacrificing the integrity of the dish…because well, it’s my food.
As a home cook, I try to be economical in most ways like using available ingredients because I also like to splurge on good quality products. I believe that the dish prepared is as good as its cook and the superiority of ingredients.
I also refuse to make a grocery run for a couple of lined items which are not integral to the dish. So, I subbed raisins with dried cranberries, The Andouille sausage replacement with hotdogs was brilliant because it added the smoky flavor which is a memory trigger for the rustic fire-cooked menudo.
It’s a toss between garbanzos and peas. Peas won. I think it’s too much of a textural brawl and redundancies to have these two in one dish. Simply excessive.
The versions are not far from the classic menudo. The simple idea of putting pastry dough gives off an impressive take but keeps it in the realm of comfort food. Plus, I really needed to get rid of that dough.
What I’m trying to say is that do not let yourself be overpowered by a recipe. It’s okay to adjust so you make the recipe more to your liking. More personal.
Are you a visual learner?
Head on to my Instagram TV and see how I made the Filipino Menudo Two-Ways.
Get to the kitchen and happy cooking.
Friendly Reminders: Recipes are meant to be guides. My recipes will take you almost there, if not THERE. Enjoy using your senses in cooking – taste, smell, look and feel. The more you cook, the more you develop your common cooking sense.
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MAY FAITH, LOVE AND FOOD FILL YOUR LIFE.
PS. I would love to try the Mexican version. If you’ve tried a good recipe. Please send it my way 🙂
Filipino Menudo Two Ways
- 2 lb pork shoulder cut in 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 lb porkliver cut in 1 inch cubes
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup soy sauce light
- 4 tbsps annatto oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium sized tomatoes chopped
- 1 large russett potatoes peeled and diced
- 3 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup green peas
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 1 link andouille sausage or chorizo
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2-3 tbsp fish sauce to taste
- 3 bay leaves
FOR THE POT PIE
- 1 store-bought pastry dough
- 2 tbsps cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup cream
Sangkutsa. This is a Filipino cooking method that means to parcook (partially cook) by boiling in salt and water.
- Put pork, liver, soy sauce, lemon, half f the garlic and onions in a pot. Turn on heat. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer 5 minutes or until meat is no longer red. Set aside.
- Put annatto oil in pan. Saute potatoes and carrots. Set aside.
- Saute TRES GUISADOS: onions, garlic and tomatoes.
- Add bell pepper, and the sangkutsa pork and liver.
- Add the tomato paste, andouille sausage, bay leaves, dried cranberries, fish sauce and enough water to cover the meat.
- Cover and simmer until meat is tender about 30 minutes. If needed, adjust thickness of sauce with tomato paste; and the flavor with fish sauce.
- Add carrots and potatoes and gently stir in peas. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Ready to serve with rice! If you want the pie version, proceed to the next step.
Menudo Pot Pie
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Sprinkle table lightly with flour and roll pastry to 1/4 inch thick.
- With your ramekins as a guide, cut dough 1/2 inch wider than the rim using a sharp knife. Repeat with the rest of the ramekins.
- Set ramekins on the sheet pan and ladle menudo filling into the ramekins.
- Dissolve cornstarch and water. Ladle one tablespoon of cornstarch onto the ramekin and mix. This helps thicken the menudo sauce appropraite for a pot pie.
- Top each dish with a pastry dough pressing along the edges to seal.
- Whisk egg with 1/4 cup cream and brush over tops pastry.
- Bake until pastry is puffed and golden brown about 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool on rack for about 10 minutes before serving.