What's Cooking: Hawaiian Pork Loin Morcon
Cooking Morcon has always intimidated me, this fiesta favorite is so deliciously yummy that I used to think you have to slave away in the kitchen to make one. Morcon is a Pinoy meatroll either pork or beef, stuffed with sausage, cheese, bell peppers, carrots and eggs. This is one of those dishes that I always said I'd learn to make for the holidays but never really did because I'm afraid it would be a disaster. However after mustering my culinary cahones, I was actually able to pull it off and even do my own variation. Instead of the usual beef morcon, here's my recipe for Hawaiian Pork Loin Morcon.
1 pork loin
1/2 cup soy sauce
juice from 5 pcs of calamansi
1/8 tsp or a dash of black pepper powder
1/8 tsp or a dash of garlic powder
2-4 chicken sausages (you can also use hotdogs)
2 hard boiled eggs
4 fat strips of cheese (preferably cheddar or other hard cheese that can stand braising)
1 bell pepper sliced
1 carrot sliced into 4 fat strips
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic crushed and finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1 can pineapple chunks
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
2-3 tsp fish sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1. First step is to butterfly your pork loin, do not fret it's not as difficult as it sounds. You take the round pork loin and place it on the cutting board. With a sharp knife cut on the side until your about a third of the way. Pull back the meat as you continue cutting, it does not have to be perfect, but try to make it into about a quarter of an inch thick when laid flat. Here's some nice instructions from www.culinate.com, see their photos I borrowed on the right.
2. After butterflying the pork loin, marinate it in the half of the soy sauce, calamansi juice, black pepper and garlic powder for 30 minutes to an hour. If you do not have calamansi you can substitute with juice from half a lime. Once the pork is well marinated, place the sausages, cheese, peppers, carrots and eggs slightly off center of the loin and begin rolling it together. It should be something like a jelly roll and the ends should overlap to fully cover the filling. Use some twine to secure the pork into a nice, tight roll.
3. Heat 2 table spoons of cooking oil on your frying pan until you see a little smoke rising. Place the pork roll on the pan and sear for a few minutes on each side until all sides are golden brown. Set aside on a plate.
4. On the same pan, saute the onions and garlic until the onions begin to change color, add in the tomato paste, the rest of the soy sauce, the can of pineapple including the juice, brown sugar and beef broth. When the broth begins to simmer put in your rolled pork loin and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender, turning it over every ten minutes. The broth will continue to thicken so you need to add a little water, about 1/3 cup at a time if it begins to dry. Do not forget to taste your food every so often to adjust the taste to your liking, I used a couple of teaspoons of fish sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
5. Once the loin is tender and you can see some cheese oozing out, turn off the heat and start plating your dish. Slice the roll cross-wise, arrange on a plate and pour over some of the sauce with pineapple chunks and enjoy with rice or dinner rolls ;-)