Real life interferes with my virtual life lately so please pardon me if I had not been as active as I was in the blogging scene these past few days. My busy-ness with so many things keeps snatching the days away from me resulting to a pile of recipes in the side waiting to be published. There were just days that I feel so tired and uninspired to think and to write, and all I want to do is lay down on my bed and catch the ever-elusive sleep. Why, just out of whim, I took a quick peek in my folder of unpublished photos and then suddenly, I found this particular jaw dropping picture of a dish. Instantly I told myself, by hook or by crook, I should extract all the creative juices I have in order to compose a long overdue backstory specifically for this one.
Why I suddenly get the eagerness to create a write-up for this dish is because this one is undeniably one of my childhood favorites. I grew up in Bago-Bantay, a small fraction of common residential area located at the 1st District of Quezon City in National Capital Region. In this humble corner of the densely populated part of the city, once tagged as Tondo of Quezon City for its notoriety because of the prevalence of hostility and gang wars during pre- and early post-Martial Law Period, it is very typical to see turo-turo in almost every blocks and every corners of the streets. Turo-turo when literally translated in English means “pointing with one’s finger”. It is the term we used to refer to a local eatery serving all sorts of lutong-bahay na ulam (home cooked viands). The dishes are usually displayed side by side in an estante (glass shelf) or simply in an array of platters on a huge table. The customers will just have to point at the dish of their choice when giving orders and that probably explains why the eateries were known for such name. One of the most common turo-turo recipes that I have grown up eating with is that ubiquitous pork mince mixed with diced vegetables and tomato sauce cooked menudo-style or better known to us as Pork Giniling Menudo.
The word giniling means “minced” or “ground” in English. Giniling menudo-style is a dish that has ground pork and tidbits of vegetables, usually carrot, potatoes and green peas. Similar to afritada, asado, mechado and menudo, it uses tomato sauce as the base. It has a little resemblance to chili con carne, except that this one is milder in flavor and does not use strong chilies and spices. Cooking the dish is very easy and simple to do, well except the chopping part, but other than that, everything is just straightforward. Pork giniling can be a dish on its own or a component to other dishes like relyenong talong (stuffed eggplant), lumpiang dinamita (dynamite chili spring rolls) and fillings to bread. I usually put hardboiled eggs as a finishing touch for that added boost in heartiness and texture. This can be paired with hot steamed rice or can be used as toppings or fillings to favorite tacos or flat breads. Either way, this will definitely make a win-win combination.
Pork Giniling Menudo (Minced Pork and Tomato Sauce Stew)
Number of Servings: 4
- 1 lb. giniling na baboy (minced pork)
- 3 pcs. hotdog, thinly sliced
- 4 tbsps. calamansi lime juice
- 4 tbsps. soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pc. medium-sized red onion, finely chopped
- 2 pcs. medium sized potatoes, diced
- 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 large carrot, diced
- ½ cup green peas
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, diced
- 2 pcs. bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-5 pcs. hardboiled eggs, peeled (optional)
- 3 tbsps. minced parsley
- 3 tbsps. cooking oil
- In a large bowl, marinate the minced pork in the mixture of soy sauce and calamansi lime juice. Mix well and set aside for at least 30 minutes
- Heat cooking oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onion until fragrant and translucent. Add minced pork and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the color turns pale brown.
- Add tomato sauce, water and bay leaves. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer to about 10 minutes or until the pork meat is cooked through. Add more water as necessary.
- Add potatoes and carrots. Continue to simmer until tender.
- Add green peas, hotdogs, raisins and hardboiled eggs (optional). Continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Transfer on a serving dish and then garnish with parsley. Serve with fresh bread or hot steamed rice. Enjoy!
TIPS FROM ENZ:
- Minced beef is a good substitute for pork. Just adjust the cooking time of the meat.
- You may put some sweet catsup or a dash of sugar to add a hint of sweetness.
- You may add a couple of tablespoons of liver spread or liver pâté, if preferred.