Filipino Holiday Recipe: Morcon

Christmas Lights at Ayala Triangle in Makati, Manila - Philipppines.In December 2016, The Seattle Times published a feature article about how local chef Justin Legaspi and his Filipino relatives celebrate the Christmas season. It provides insight into the Filipino holiday tradition, with its emphasis on close family ties.

Justin’s mouth-watering recipe for morcon, a Filipino beef roulade that’s stuffed with hard-boiled eggs and served on a tomato and liver sauce, captured our attention. We think you will like it, too.

Morcon (Filipino beef roulade)

2 pounds beef bottom round

Juice from 1 lemon

½ cup soy sauce

Black pepper

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced lengthwise into strips

2 hot dogs or sausages of choice, sliced lengthwise into strips

4 pieces Gherkins sweet pickles, sliced lengthwise into strips

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise into halves

¼ cup oil

For the sauce:

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Reserved marinade (from marinating beef)

1 cup tomato sauce

2 cups beef broth or water

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup liver spread

½ cup Spanish olives

  1. Ask the butcher or with your own knife, slice bottom round in wide and thin slices, aim for a large, rectangular slice of beef that is ½-inch thick. Place a layer of slices onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then place another piece of plastic on the top, covering the meat. Using a flat object or the bottom of a pan, pound out the slices until they are uniformly ¼-inch thick. Place slices in soy sauce and lemon juice and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Drain and squeeze out the marinade, reserving the liquid.
  2. Place the beef slices on a flat surface, overlapping the ends of each slice to make a rectangular shape. Arrange strips of carrots, sausage, pickles and halves of eggs lengthwise over beef. Gently gather end of beef upward and roll neatly into a log, enclosing filling. With kitchen twine, tie beef roulades snugly at both ends and center to fully secure.
  3. In a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, heat oil. Gently add beef roll and lightly brown on all sides. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
  4. Discard oil from skillet except about 1 tablespoon. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil, scraping sides to deglaze pan. Add tomato sauce, beef broth, bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Bring up to a boil, then add beef. Lower heat and simmer until the beef is tender, about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the beef from sauce and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  6. To finish the sauce, bring it to a simmer and then whisk in liver spread until fully incorporated, and then add the olives.
  7. Slice the Morcon and serve on top of sauce.

Be sure and read the article for recipes for Bibinka Malakit (Sweet Rice Bibinka) and Kare kare (Oxtail and peanut stew).

Pictured: Christmas Lights at Ayala Triangle in Makati, Manila – Philipppines

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