Lola Tomasa’s Morcon

plated morcon collageServes 8 to 12

Leftovers freeze well and taste even better. In fact, partially frozen Morcon sliced with an electric knife holds its shape particularly well.

Marinated Beef
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 whole beef flank steaks (about 3 1/2 pounds total, 1/3” to 1/2” thick)

Tomato Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, diced
6 whole tomatoes, diced
3 to 5 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups tomato sauce, if needed
2 bay leaves

1 whole chorizo de bilbao
4 tablespoons grated queso de bola (Edam cheese)
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons raisins
1 1/2 cups ground pork
6 whole hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Additional items
Butcher’s twine
Needle and thread, if needed

me and mama marinating beefFor the beef, mix soy, lemon juice, and sugar, adjusting to make sure it isn’t too salty or tart. (It should taste like a yummy dipping sauce for grilled meat, which, in fact, it is!) Lay steaks flat on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour marinade over the beef and rub it in. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours at room temperature. (Can be covered and refrigerated overnight.)

morcon sangkucha collageFor the sauce, heat oil in a pot large and deep enough to hold the rolled steaks.

Add onion and garlic; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, fish sauce, and several grinds of pepper. Simmer until it becomes a chunky sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings, including fish sauce if needed. Turn off heat and set pot aside. Transfer 1/2 cup of the sauce to a small bowl.

For the filling, trim chorizo to about 2 inches less than the length of the flank steak and quarter lengthwise (save trimmed portion for another use). Mix in the 1/2 cup of cooled sauce, along with cheese, pickle relish, raisins and ground pork.

morcon prep work 3x3 collageLay half the ground mixture in a line down the center of the flank steak. Top with 3 eggs (or 2 if you have shorter flank steaks) and a strip of chorizo on either side.

Working one at a time, roll beef jellyroll style, making sure ends slightly overlap (you may need to remove some of the filling). If needed, secure seam with a needle and thread, and then wrap steak tightly in butcher’s twine, knowing it will shrink during cooking. Sew both ends of the flank steak to seal as welll. Repeat with remaining flank steak.

morcon simmering collageReturn sauce to a simmer; add rolled flank steaks. If sauce does not come at least halfway up, add tomato sauce mixed with 1 cup of water and fish sauce to taste, along with the bay leaves.

Simmer, partially covered, over medium-low heat until beef is tender, about 2 hours. (Form any remaining ground meat filling into little patties and fry them up for a snack.)

finished morcon collageWhen ready to serve, transfer one of the rolls to a cutting board; let rest for a few minutes. Cut into 1-inch thick slices, being careful the tender steaks do not shred. Remove and discard all twine and thread. Return beef slices to the pot for a moment to soak up some of the sauce, or transfer to a plate or platter and spoon sauce over it. Serve with jasmine rice or egg noodles.

Using my great grandmother’s traditional method, the most time-consuming part of the process was sewing the ends of the flank steak together. To avoid this step, simply pound the flank steak a little more thinly so that it overlaps the filling. After that, just tie it with twine.

Ground pork was used for its high fat content and distinct flavor. If you prefer, use ground beef.

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  1. says

    Oh, Morcon! This is exactly what I’ve been searching for several years now. We used to have a Filipino nanny who introduced me to this dish and I remember how I fell in love with it instantly. I was still young then that I did not think that I’ll be wanting to make the dish myself. So when we lost the nanny for some reasons, I also lost the dish that I learned to love. I tried to search for this over the net but I couldn’t even remember it’s name. I used to call it pork roll then. I’m so happy to found this site and glad you posted the dish. Cheers!

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