Hardinera is a famous meatloaf dish that originated in Quezon Province. This is considered as a special dish and is often served only in special occasions such as town fiestas and other important gatherings. I really enjoy eating Hardinera (Jardinera) and I think that this meatloaf-kind-of variety is awesome. I think that my fondness of pork menudo is the reason. You see — this dish is like menudo encapsulated in a llanera and made even better.
Some say that cost of ingredients and tedious preparation method were some of the reasons why this is not a common everyday dish; however, I believe that we can do something to ease the preparation part – this post and the accompanying video might come-in handy for everyone. As for the cost, there are several ways that we can do to control it. One way is to reuse the ingredients that we already have. You can make breadcrumbs out of leftover breads; use the unexpired cheese sitting in the fridge. Buying in bulk also saves you money. Who knows, maybe you can sell Hardinera to generate extra income. Can you suggest other ways to save money on ingredients?
There are some similar dishes that I tasted – they were good too. One is the Everlasting from Marikina. Instead of diced pork, ground meat is used instead. I also tried a good variation in Bauan, Batangas (which is my wife’s province, by the way).
If you were following this blog from the very start, you might remember our Pork Menudo post; that was the first ever post. I wrote about my obsession to that dish and even called it a necessity. Hardinera is not that different from Menudo, as far as I am concerned. If Menudo is a stock car, Hardinera is the modified version.
Try this Hardinera recipe and let me know what you think.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb pork, diced
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
- ½ cup beef franks or hotdogs, diced
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ beef cube
- ½ cup pineapple chunks
- ¼ cup roasted sweet pepper
- ¼ cup liver spread
- ¼ cup cheese, grated
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 pieces hard boiled eggs, sliced or wedged
- 2 pieces raw eggs
- In a cooking pot, add cooking oil and sauté garlic and onions.
- Add the diced pork and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Put-in the beef cube, water, and tomato sauce then bring to a boil. Simmer until the pork is tender and the liquid completely evaporates. Set aside and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pork, salt, ground black pepper, beef franks, bread crumbs, liver spread, sweet pickle relish, pineapple chunks, raisins, and cheese.
- Mix all the ingredients until everything is well incorporated.
- Grease a llanera and arrange the sliced eggs and roasted sweet pepper.
- Pour close to half of the beaten egg mixture and ensure that the eggs are well distributed on the llanera.
- Scoop the pork mixture in to the llanera until it occupies at least ¾ of the total volume.
- Cover the whole llanera with aluminum foil.
- Pour at least 6 cups of water in the steamer. Arrange the containers in the steamer and steam for 50 minutes.
- Remove the steamed mixture from the llanera and transfer to a serving plate.
- Serve either hot or cold. Share and enjoy!