Inspired by Purplegirl’s beef dinuguan, I decided to combine stewing beef, pork tongue and pork liver to make a new exciting version of dinuguan, traditionally a strictly pork dish. While it is not uncommon to use vinegar as a souring agent for cooking dinuguan, I prefer using the powdered sinigang mix that come in pouches. Today, however, I was feeling a little nostalgic for my grandmother’s cooking. Instead of powdered sinigang mix, I used fresh sampalok (tamarind). The big difference is that there is no trace of MSG in the cooked dish. No MSG taste; no MSG aftertaste. The sauce is also naturally thicker and richer from the pulp of the mashed sampalok.
1/2 kilo of stewing beef (I used batok or the back of the neck)
3/4 kilo of pork tongue (about two pieces)
1/4 kilo of pork or beef liver
2 c. of pig’s blood
1-1/2 c. of sampalok
3 pieces of siling haba (finger chilies)
1 head of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 large onion
a bay leaf
2 tbsps. of cooking oil
patis for seasoning
2 c. of vinegar
Cooking procedure :
Cut the beef into 1/4-inch slices then into small pieces about an inch wide and two inches long.
Peel and finely minced the garlic.
Peel and julienne the ginger.
Peel and thinly slice the onion.
Cut off the stems of the siling haba and cut each sili into 3 or 4 pieces.
Heat a large, heavy saucepan or casserole. Pour in the cooking oil and heat just until smoking. Add the beef and cook until lightly browned. Add the sili (or you can add them later if you want a less spicy dinuguan), garlic, ginger and onion and cook until limp. Pour in enough water to cover. Add the bay leaf. Season with patis. Bring to boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for two hours or until tender.
Meanwhile, wash the pork tongue in water. Place in a non-aluminum bowl and pour in the vinegar. Rub the pork tongue with vinegar to remove the sliminess. Rinse well. Simmer in salted water for an hour or until tender. Cool. With a knife, scrape off the outer skin of the tongue. Rinse the tongue. Cut into smaller pieces the same size as the beef.
Slice the liver thinly and cut into smaller pieces the same size as the beef and pork tongue.
Wash the sampalok in running water. Place in a small saucepan and simmer in water until very soft (should be soft enough to mash with a fork). Cool a bit and mash with a fork.
When the beef has been simmering for an hour, place a metal strainer over the simmering beef and pour the sampalok, with its liquid, into it. Push down the mashed sampalok into the strainer to make sure that the pulp goes through the wire mesh. Add the sili, if you did not add them earlier. After about 45 minutes, add the pork tongue and continue simmering.
Pour the pig’s blood into a bowl. With your hands, take out the blood that has congealed and transfer to another bowl. Mash with your hands to cut them into very small pieces. Discard the liquid blood. Turn up the heat of the beef-pork tongue mixture and pour the blood into it. Stir. Bring to a boil. Add the liver and stir again. Bring to a boil once more and simmer for about 3-4 minutes.