Embutido (Filipino Meatloaf)

Embutido (Filipino Meatloaf)

The Spruce / Danielle Moore

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
761 Calories
45g Fat
5g Carbs
79g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 761
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 58%
Saturated Fat 17g 87%
Cholesterol 529mg 176%
Sodium 2607mg 113%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 79g
Calcium 111mg 9%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 is 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 very much similar to making spring rolls which the Filipinos have embraced from the Chinese, their long-time trading partners who have been doing business in the country long before Magellan got lost and landed in Central Philippines thinking that 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.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups/1/2 kilogram pork (finely ground)
  • 1/4 cup carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup relish (sweet pickle, drained, or 1/4 cup raisins or 1/8 cup sweet pickle relish and 1/8 cup raisins)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (rock)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (ground)
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • Garnish: ketchup

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Embutido (Filipino Meatloaf) ingredients

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  2. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl.

    meatloaf ingredients mixed together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  3. Stuff the mixture into two to three empty condensed milk cans (depends on the size of the cans) packing it tightly.

    meatloaf mixture in round forms

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  4. Cover the cans with foil and place in a steamer basket for 45 to 55 minutes.

    Cover the cans with the meatloaf mixture with foil and place in a steamer basket

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  5. Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cans and tap out the embutido. If they do not fall off easily, run a knife around them.

    steamed meatloaf on a plate

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  6. Wrap each embutido with cling film and chill for several hours, preferably overnight. This is the secret to making those clean slices. Still-warm embutido will crumble when sliced.

    steamed meatloaf wrapped with plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  7. To serve, unwrap the embutido and cut into half-inch slices and garnish with ketchup.

    Embutido (Filipino Meatloaf) on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

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