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Pork Menudo is the number one on the list of my comfort foods and it’s hard for me to last a month without trying one – literally. Some would say that I am addicted to this food while others would use the term “obsession”, I just simply look at it as a necessity – a basic necessity that I cannot live without.
In almost every Philippine town fiestas or gatherings, Pork Menudo can be seen in the dining table. This is one of the favorite “putahe” (dish) served and this was the reason why different variations of this dish existed. Many Pork Menudo recipes include hotdogs (pinoy red hotdogs), green peas, or garbanzos and others would add sun dried raisins too. I think that it is a regional thing because almost different provinces have their own version. I must admit that all variation tastes as good as everyone else but I prefer the version that I grew up eating, “Ang lutong bahay ni nanay” (my mom’s cooking).
Update: There are some people asking if they can use Filipino spaghetti sauce as an alternative for tomato sauce. I do not see it as an issue. In fact, I use it sometimes to cook Menudo and other tomato based dishes. The Filipino store is 30 minutes from my place; getting these ingredients online (if there is no immediate need) is beneficial for me. Another somewhat similar recipe that you can make is pork giniling. It uses ground pork and is perfect when served with boiled eggs.
How to Cook Pork Menudo
This pork menudo recipe requires the meat to be marinated in soy sauce and lemon first before cooking. Combine the pork, soy sauce and lemon in a bowl. Mix well and let it stay for at least 1 hour. It will be better to store the bowl inside the refrigerator while you marinate to avoid contamination. Make sure to cover the bowl before doing this.
Take the pork out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking. Start to saute the garlic and onion. You will notice that this method is common in Filipino cuisine. Most Filipino foods are cooked starting with sauteing garlic and onion.
Once the onions are soft, add the marinated pork and cook until it browns. Add tomato sauce (you can also use crushed tomatoes), water (or beef broth), and bay leaves. We are using dried bay leaves for this recipe. Cover and simmer until the meat gets tender — which is usually 40 to 60 minutes depending on the quality of the meat. Once the meat is done, it is time to add the sliced liver. You can add the liver fresh or you can saute it first in ginger and garlic to make it less gamey. Add the veggies after this step and continue to cook for a few more minutes.
Add the salt and pepper depending on your preference. Also, try not to overcook the potato and carrots because it will get very soft — unless you prefer it that way.
How can I best store it?
Menudo can make for an incredibly tempting dish to finish all on your own. But considering how jam-packed it is with ingredients, you might find yourself unable to eat all of it in one sitting. But never fear, as this dish can actually get better with more time in storage. With all of your flavors— from the garlic to the tomato sauce— settling in nicely over time, you might get a richer taste from more days of letting it rest. Simply make sure that you’re storing it properly, and that you keep an eye on how long you’re setting it aside so that it doesn’t rot.
For this, we will be refrigerating the Pork Menudo. With that, you have to make sure that your dish is down to room temperature before we do anything else, as it might still be hot off the stove. When it’s perfectly cool, you can put it in a resealable bag, or any airtight container you might have.
Then slip this into your refrigerator for about 3 days of your Menudo staying great for consumption. But if you need it for an event or a meal that’s a little further in the future, feel free to place it in your freezer. You can expect this to last for 2 months when you freeze it.
What if I’m ready to eat it again, and would like to reheat it?
One of the most ideal ways to go about this is by using your stove again, and pouring your mixture back into a saucepan. You can reheat the Menudo over low heat, until you get an internal temperature of about 165 °F. This would mimic the taste of your freshly cooked Menudo.
But if you’re in a bit of a hurry, there’s also the option of microwaving. This is also best for if you’ve stored some of this dish to bring to work. All you have to do is take that Menudo you’ve packed away, and microwave it within intervals of 2 to 3 minutes. Keep checking your dish if it’s warm enough for you. Also make sure that you use a microwave-safe container for this.
Now you’ve got a lovely plate of Pork Menudo all ready to go! This is definitely a dish that involves numerous ingredients. As such, it really might be best to make a bigger batch, and store the leftovers for later eating.
And there are many other recipes that have that similar charm of being a gorgeous, flavorful mix of various components. But there are three in particular that usually get bunched together in Filipino cuisine for how alike they are to one another.
What sets Menudo, Kaldereta and Afritada apart from one another?
Tagged as a Filipino classic, our main recipe is a deliciously meaty viand with an appetizingly vibrant orange stew. But of course, if you’re a Filipino, there might be more than one dish coming to mind. Three very popular local dishes possess the same qualities, and have a very similar appeal to one another because of this. But we’re here to show the distinction among these three.
Starting off with our ever-tasty Pork Menudo, this dish actually has a vital ingredient that our other recipes don’t have. It has small bits of pig liver that give the dish a one of a kind texture to go along with our pork meat, as well as that distinctly savory flavor. But much like our other recipes, it utilizes several spoonfuls of tomato sauce. This is partially responsible for the pleasing orange color we get to see for the stew.
Our tomato sauce also adds a gloriously rich and somewhat tangy taste to the dish, which goes well with our lemon, soy sauce, and various other seasonings. We add these all together to make a perfectly delicious dish with a strong flavor, but an ultimately comforting taste. The dish is also made even heartier by a good deal of cubed carrots and diced potatoes.
The aforementioned vegetables are also present in this lovely, piquant dish. But Afritada is actually popularly cooked with both pork and chicken. That, and it involves frying or cooking your meat prior to braising them in your stew of ingredients. This is why its name comes from the Spanish phrase “a fritada” that means “to fry.”
You can also notice the distinction in some of the other ingredients we use for this. But because we use so many— just like in Menudo— you might not remember that this actually has green peas and red onions, unlike the prior recipe.
While Kaldereta doesn’t use whole pig liver, it actually counts on mashed liver or liver spread for a great deal of its flavor. This is one of its distinguishing factors as a dish, taste-wise. That, and it actually has a factor of heat to it in the usage of chili flakes. We also get a richer sense of the meatiness of this dish with its mix of beef broth. Of course, the classic Kaldereta is cooked with goat. But many versions of this recipe have come out, a very famous one being Beef Kaldereta.
I hope that’s answered some of your questions about these dishes. But if you’ve thought up any queries about this Pork Menudo dish, that’s what the comments section below is for! Let me know if there are any questions I could answer for you.
Try this delicious Filipino Menudo Recipe.
- 2 lbs. pork
- 1/4 lb. pig liver
- 1 cup potatoes diced
- 1 piece carrot cubed
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 piece lemon
- 1 piece onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 4 pieces hotdogs sliced diagonally
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 to 3 pieces dried bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine pork, soysauce, and lemon in a bowl. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat oil in a pan
- Saute garlic and onion.
- Add the marinated pork. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Pour in tomato sauce and water and then add the bay leaves.Let boil and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour depending on the toughness of the pork. Note: Add water as necessary.
- Add-in the liver and hot dogs.Cook for 5 minutes.
- Put-in potatoes, carrots, sugar,salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 8 to 12 minutes.
- Serve. Share and enjoy!