If a menudo contest would be held today, I would definitely be in it. Why, this has got to be a flagship dish of my childhood filled with memories of good food, good food and the best menudo.
Inspired by my lola’s famous menudo, this version, and I am confident to say, is the BEST version for me. It is unique in that the taba have been cut off from the lean meat and are made into chicharon then later on combined with the rest of the menudo ensemble. The meat is marinated in soy sauce and calamansi before it is cooked. In that way, meat is flavored long before you start infusing flavor as you heat it. Also, it barely uses commercial tomato sauce that usually tastes fakely thick and artificial.
In this recipe, the small amount of commecial tomato sauce is only to spike some color to the dish.
In fact, my lola’s version totally did away with the use of commercial tomato sauce. She used REAL tomatoes.
During my childhood, we ate it best with a glass of ice-cold Coke. It made the whole pleasant dining experience intensified and more satisfying. To date, Coke has remained to be our menudo’s best partner.
With this perfect tandem, expect the dining table to burst with energy in the conversations, chitchat and bonding brought to you by the happy hormones triggered by a fabulous loveteam named– Menudo and Coke.
1 kilo pork casim, diced with fat and lean meat separated
6 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced
1 medium-sized onions
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small boxes raisins
1 big can garbanzos
1 small pack tomato sauce
1 red bell pepper, minced
3 large potatoes, diced
4 pcs calamansi
3/4 cup soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Season lean pork meat with salt and pepper. Marinate with calamansi and soy sauce for 30 minutes.
Season taba (fat) with salt and pepper. Cover with water in a small frying pan. Cook until water has evaporated, taba has turned into golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
Meantime, in a frying pan, fry potatoes until they turn golden brown in color. Drain from excess oil and set aside.
In a skillet, saute onion, bell pepper, garlic and tomatoes. Add lean pork meat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with water. Bring to a boil until water is reduced into half and meat already very tender. Add tomato sauce, garbanzos and raisins.
Continue simmering for another five minutes. Add fried potatoes and chicharon (taba from the casim). Serve hot.