|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 3 to 4|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 27g||35%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||50%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 14mg||71%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Embutido is a steamed and fried log-shaped meatloaf that is often served at parties, family gatherings, and other special occasions in the Philippines. It is not difficult to make and the ingredients are not expensive nor extraordinary. Why it is considered a "special occasion" dish has probably more to do with its appearance than anything else.
Why is the embutido shaped like a log? To mimic the shape of the Spanish embutido, which, by definition, is a sausage. In that context, embutido is a local adaptation of a colonizer's traditional food.
The traditional recipe for embutido lists caul fat (also called leaf lard; sinsal, in Filipino) among the essential ingredients. The leaf lard is spread flat, ground pork mixed with chopped vegetables, sweet pickle relish and raisins are placed in the middle, canned Vienna sausages or hot dogs are optionally laid on top, one edge of the leaf lard is folded over the ground pork, the sides are tucked in and the whole thing is rolled into a log.
The wrapping process is similar to making spring rolls that Filipinos have embraced from the Chinese, their long-time trading partners. The Chinese have been doing business in the country long before Magellan got lost and landed in the Central Philippines, thinking he had reached the fabled Spice Islands.
These days, caul fat is difficult to source. One reason is that hog raisers sell it directly to lard manufacturers as caul fat is considered the highest grade of lard. Another reason is that the fat-is-scary-and-bad generation prefers to trim traditional dishes of what are perceived to be unnecessary fat content.
Learn what you need to stock your pantry with to cook Filipino recipes.
"The embutido had excellent flavor. I used two evaporated milk cans and made 2 logs. The filling expands as it cooks, so use 14-ounce cans. I used spicy sweet pickle relish, chilled them overnight, and they were delicious." —Diana Rattray
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, well drained, or 1/4 cup raisins, or 1/8 cup sweet pickle relish and 1/8 cup raisins
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Ketchup, for garnish
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the pork, carrot, bell pepper, relish, salt, white pepper, and eggs.
Stuff the mixture into 2 to 3 empty 14-ounce condensed milk cans (or similar), packing the mixture in tightly, almost to the top, leaving about 1/4-inch clearance space for the mixture to expand while steaming. Cover the tops of the cans tightly with foil.
Put enough water in a medium saucepan to reach the bottom of a steamer basket. When the water boils, place the cans in the steamer basket, lower the heat to medium-high, cover, and steam until the meat registers 160 F, 45 to 55 minutes (check the water level occasionally and replenish if running low).
Remove the cans from the steamer basket with oven mitts to a heatproof surface. Let cool for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil, invert the cans, and tap out the embutido. If they do not release easily, run a knife around the sides of the can.
Wrap each embutido cylinder tightly and chill for several hours, preferably overnight. This is the secret to making those clean slices. Still-warm embutido will crumble when sliced.
To serve, unwrap the embutido and cut into 1/2-inch slices, and garnish with ketchup.
- The embutido are done when the reach an internal temperature of at least 160 F.
- Embutido may be eaten cold, warmed, or fried. To fry the embutido, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the embutido for about 4 minutes, turning to brown both sides.
- To avoid crumbling embutido, drain the relish well and mix the ingredients thoroughly, and refrigerate the tightly wrapped cylinders overnight.
- Add a few tablespoons of finely chopped onion to the meat mixture.
- Add garlic flavor with 1 clove of finely minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Swap out the ground pork with 80/20 ground beef or use half ground pork and half ground beef.
How to Store Embutido
- Place leftover embutido in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 days.
- To freeze the embutido, wrap individual slices tightly and place them in a resealable freezer bag. Freeze embutido for up to 1 month. Defrost embutido in the refrigerator overnight.