During my grandmother’s days, cooking embutido or Philippine-style meatloaf, was such a complex procedure that it was considered a dish for special occasions only. The seasoned ground pork is mixed with chopped vegetables, spices and beaten eggs, wrapped in sinsal (a fatty pork entrail), steamed, cooled, sliced and served with catsup. A generation later, my mother-in-law’s to be precise, the sinsal was discarded as an ingredient. My mom-in-law, quite an accomplished cook herself (which should explain my husband’s discriminating preferences when it comes to home-cooked meals), used more eggs (to keep them from crumbling apart) than traditional recipes called for. To give the embutido a nice even shape, she steamed them in empty tall cans of tomato sauce.
Well, I have my own way of cooking embutido. To start with, I use lean ground beef instead of pork. Secondly, I only use two beaten eggs for every half kilo of meat. I don’t steam the embutido; I bake them. I also have some secret ingredients to help them retain their shape as well as add a moist creamy texture.
500 g. of ground lean beef
2 onions, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 c. of grated carrots
1/3 c. of sweet pickle relish
1/3 c. of fine breadcrumbs
1/2 c. of powdered cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. of dried parsley)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of pepper
1 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
3 pcs. of aluminum foil, 12â€ x 12â€ square
Cooking procedure :
Mix together all the ingredients. Divide into three portions. Take one portion and roll into a tightly packed log about 3â€ to 4â€ in diameter. Wrap with a piece of aluminum foil, sealing all edges. Repeat the procedure for the remaining two portions of meat-vegetable mixture. Place the uncooked embutido in a baking tray and bake in a moderately hot oven (about 375-degrees Fahrenheit) for 20-30 minutes. Cool and slice into rings. Garnish with mayonnaise, mustard and catsup.