Ground pork is substituted for cubed pork belly to cook ground pork menudo. If beef were used, it would be Mexican picadillo and, for Filipinos, the meat component of arroz a la Cubana.
So, we had ground pork menudo for lunch yesterday. I served it over Alex’s homemade naan with boiled eggs on the side. Just for a change, really, because we’ve almost always had ground pork menudo with rice and fried eggs
But why use ground pork? Isn’t it more satisfying to bite into chunkier pieces of pork? Many reasons.
One, for the home cook, ground pork cooks so much faster. If you can prepare a delicious meal in 20 minutes, why extend the cooking time to an hour or more? On days when I have the luxury of time, I choose menudo with cubes pork belly. No contest. But when I’m pressed for time? Ground pork is the logical choice. No brainer.
Two, for canteen operators and carinderia owners, ground pork is cheaper. Ground pork menudo is a staple in humble eateries and carinderias all over the country.
Whatever carbs you serve ground pork menudo with, it will taste just as good. Truth be told, it is even good with pasta.
Or, stir leftovers in beaten eggs and cook as torta.
Did that last night with the leftovers per Alex’s suggestion. With lots of eggs, she said. No problem. No need to cook dinner from scratch. Speedy did the Pacman thing. hahaha After we cut off wedges from the torta, I saw Speedy boring a hole on one side. I thought, what the heck…? Until he told us to look at the torta from the top. Oh, okay. Very funny. I got my phone and took some shots. I was going to post it on Instagram but, on second thought, it belongs better here as the torta is illustrative of the versatility of ground pork menudo.
So, is making ground pork menudo the same as cooking regular menudo? Except for the meat, the rest of the ingredients are similar but the cooking process is shorter.
Ground Pork Menudo
Place the ground pork in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper. Mix well. Set aside.
Peel (or not) the potatoes and carrots. Cut into half-inch cubes.
Dice the tomatoes.
Deseed and chop the bell peppers.
Peel and minced the garlic.
Peel and chop the onion.
In a frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to coat the bottom.
Spread the potato and carrot cubes in the hot oil and cook without disturbing until the undersides are lightly browned. Stir and continue cooking until lightly crisp on all sides. Scoop out and set aside.
Pour off the oil leaving only two tablespoonfuls.
Reheat the oil and saute the onion and tomatoes until softened. Add the garlic and oregano, and saute for another minute.
Spread the seasoned ground pork on the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
Sprinkle in the paprika then stir in the tomato paste.
Stir in the browned carrot and potato cubes, and the sweet peas. Sprinkle in more salt and pepper.
Cook over medium heat with occasional stirring for 10 to 12 minutes or until the ground pork is cooked through.
Taste the ground pork menudo and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
Serve your ground pork menudo with bread, rice or noodles.