Pork Menudo has become a staple when it comes to fiestas and gatherings. If you were ever to go to one of these events. There is a high chance that a random pork menudo would show up right in front you. That’s how popular this dish is.
Whenever there’s a celebration of some sort, people could almost say that there’s not really a menu when there’s no pork menudo!
So what if you’re the one who’s going to host and people are expecting some kind of delicious dish? You can rest easy, because in this article, you are going to learn how to cook the pork menudo so you can impress your loved ones, and guests alike!
Read the rest of the article to learn some tips and trivia about our beloved pork menudo.
What is Pork Menudo?
Menudo is a type of stew popularized in the Philippines which traditionally uses pork meat and pork liver smothered with tomato sauce along with potatoes and carrots.
There is also a dish called menudo in Mexican cuisine, but it utilizes tripe and red chili sauce instead of tomato sauce. Although the pork menudo is a more popular choice, different kinds of meat can also be used in making this stew such as beef meat and chicken meat.
How to cook Pork Menudo?
Making pork menudo is not as hard as you think. In this recipe, we made it as simple as possible so it is not overwhelming at all. As long as you have a kitchen knife which can slice all of the ingredients, you won’t encounter any problem at all. Let’s just break it down in two quick and simple processes: one is the preparation, and the other is the cooking.
For the preparation, you’re just going to slice most of our ingredients. It is best to slice the ingredients in cubs with about an inch on them so the insides of the meat, and the other vegetables are easily cooked.
There are pork cuts you can buy in the market which are actually ready made for stews like this to make things easier. But if you have the time, it’s recommended that you cut them on your own so you’re sure that all of the meat will be cooked evenly.
The cooking part is a straightforward process. You’re just going to cook each of the ingredients one after the other. When simmering the pork, it is important to cook it in low heat so that it will become tender and will be easy to eat. Stir the stew while cooking once in a while to avoid some of the ingredients sticking to the cooking pot.
Menudo vs. Afritada vs. Mechado vs. Caldereta
Menudo is commonly confused with Filipino stews which also utilizes tomato-based sauce. To be fair, it is to be expected because the four of these are almost similar in every way, except for a number of ingredients, which often gets jumbled with one another.
Menudo is made usually with pork partnered with pork liver, hotdogs, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, with some raisins along with the sauce.
Afritada is traditionally cooked using chicken meat, and one thing I believe is that afritada is made to be creamier than the other tomato-based stews. It’s basic vegetables include bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, and peas.
Mechado is traditionally and commonly made with beef and pork fat, and you usually go for a tangier flavor when it comes to cooking these. It also includes the basic carrots, potatoes, and bell pepper, together with the tomato sauce blended with soy sauce.
Caldereta is made with beef (with bones) or goat meat, which utilizes liver spread, carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers along its tomato based sauce.
Notes on Ingredients
In case you don’t have a tomato sauce, it is acceptable to use spaghetti sauce as an alternative. Spaghetti sauce is still a tomato based sauce so it won’t hurt the recipe entirely. It depends also if you prefer this sauce over the other more.
Some other vegetables often included in this are green peas and garbanzos. You may opt to add these to your basic vegetables.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Pork Menudo Recipe
- Cooking Pot
- 1 kg pork meat, sliced in cubes
- 250 g pork liver, sliced in cubes
- 1 pc small onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 pcs medium potatoes, sliced in cubes
- 2 pcs carrots, sliced in cubes
- 1 pack (250 g) tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ green bell pepper, sliced in cubes
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced in cubes
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 pcs bay leaves
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- In a cooking pan, pour in the cooking oil, and apply medium heat. Wait until oil is hot.
- Add-in the minced garlic and chopped onion and saute them for 1 - 2 minutes or until they are soft.
- Add-in the sliced pork cubes and cook for 5 - 7 minutes or until they are lightly brown.
- Pour-in the fish sauce, tomato sauce, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper, and water. Mix well and let it boil. Simmer for 30 - 35 minutes or until the pork is tender.
- Add-in the sliced potatoes and sliced carrots. Let it simmer for another 3 - 5 minutes or until they are tender enough, and the sauce is thick enough.
- Add-in the raisins and the bell peppers and stir well to distribute. Let it cook for another 3 - 4 minutes.
- Transfer in a serving bowl. Serve and enjoy!