A morcon is a type of Filipino embutido or meatloaf that’s often eaten at special celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and other holiday-related events.
What Is A Morcon?
The word “morcon” comes from the Tagalog language.
Morcon literally translates to “little piglet” which refers to its shape and appearance.
The term also has an additional meaning—the act or process of stuffing something inside another thing.
It can be said that morcons were popularized by the Spanish colonizers who brought them with them to the Philippines when they established their settlements there in 1521.
However, it was not until the early 1900s that morcons became mainstream in Philippine cuisine due to the influx of American influences.
Nowadays, morcons are commonly sold throughout supermarkets and even street stalls across the country.
They come in different sizes, shapes, flavors, and prices.
You can find these sausages on sale for P50 per piece while others cost around P200.
In this article, we will go over what exactly makes up a morcon and how you can make your own version of this classic Filipino dish.
History of morcons
According to some historians, the first recorded instance of morcons being invented goes back to 1612 where it was created as a gift for King Philip II of Spain.
This particular morcon was designed specifically to resemble the face of the king.
Later on, morcons gained popularity among Filipinos after its introduction to the country by the Spaniards.
In fact, the popularity of morcons grew so much that many restaurants began producing them.
However, the number of morcons produced increased significantly following World War II because of the scarcity of food supplies caused by the war.
As a result, morcons became cheap enough for people to afford buying them regularly.
Today, morcons are considered one of the best empanadas out there.
So if you want to know more about morcons, keep reading!
What Are The Ingredients In A Morcon Recipe?
The most common ingredients used in a morcon recipe include beef, chicken, and pork.
Other options can be added to suit your taste buds, including fish, eggs, vegetables, rice, seasonings, and spices.
The main ingredient must be ground up first before it’s placed inside a big piece of casings like intestines, chorizo, and sausages.
Ingredients vary depending on the region where the dish originated from.
A Morcon recipe will typically contain some combination of these items:
- Ground pork
- Hot dog
You may also add other meats such as turkey, duck, ostrich, goat, venison, and others for variation purposes.
1. Ground Pork
Pork is one of the primary ingredients found in most morcons.
It’s a staple among Filipinos because pork has long been considered an affordable source of protein.
In fact, the Philippines ranked No. 1 globally when it came to per capita consumption of pork.
Ham is another popular option in a morcon recipe because of its affordability and versatility.
It can go well with almost any kind of food item.
You can use it to top off a plate of fried rice, sprinkle it over cornbread, or mix it with beans and rice.
It’s important not to overcook pork to avoid having ham fat seep out while cooking.
To prevent this from happening, cook the pork until it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63oC).
3. Hot Dog
If you want something savory but don’t prefer pork, then you should try using hot dog instead.
Hot dogs are a great alternative since they’re inexpensive and easy to find.
One thing to note about using hot dogs in a morcon recipe is that it needs to be cooked separately from the rest of the ingredients.
This is because hot dogs need to be boiled to remove excess water which could affect the texture of the final product.
There’s no shortage of types of cheeses available today.
From cheddar to mozzarella, there’s a lot of variety to choose from.
If you have a particular favorite that suits your palate, feel free to swap it out for a different type.
When adding more than one type of cheese in a morcon recipe, it’s best to keep them separate so they don’t melt together and create a mess.
In addition to pork, beef is another common choice for people who enjoy eating morcons.
It’s cheap and readily available.
Another benefit of using beef is that it doesn’t require much prepping.
Simply cut the beef into small pieces and grind it down into fine bits.
Then just put everything else aside and finish mixing all the ingredients together.
Chicken is yet another popular choice for many morcon recipes.
It’s relatively cheap compared to beef, and it requires minimal preparation time.
However, if you want to save money by buying raw chicken instead of already processed pre-cooked pieces, then you might want to reconsider.
Raw chicken isn’t always safe to eat.
Raw poultry contains salmonella bacteria which can cause serious health issues if consumed improperly.
To ensure safety, wash the chicken thoroughly before grinding it into smaller pieces.
Also, make sure to boil the chicken after grilling so the juice doesn’t drip onto the food being prepared.
While eggs aren’t commonly used in morcons, they’re still very good additions.
Eggs provide a boost of nutrition and vitamins to the dish without significantly increasing the overall cost.
Although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, studies show that consuming only a few servings each week won’t pose too much of a risk to your heart.
However, if you suffer from any cardiovascular disease, consult your doctor prior to incorporating eggs into your diet.
Also, remember to rinse eggs thoroughly before cracking open their shells to reduce the chances of getting salmonella poisoning.
Adding veggies to a morcon recipe helps fill you up while keeping the calories low.
Some veggie choices include carrots, zucchini, spinach, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, celery, onions, and others.
Make sure to chop the veggies properly before mixing them with the rest of the ingredients.
Chunkiness of the vegetable matter increases when it gets mashed up with the meat mixture.
Rice is a staple food in the Philippines.
Most people love how versatile it is in terms of flavor profiles.
There are several varieties available including white, brown, red, wild, and instant.
Each type comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Soaking the rice overnight gives it extra nutrients and makes it easier to digest later on.
But soaking is optional.
If you’d rather skip it, then simply boil the rice beforehand.
Many morcons come out bland and uninteresting unless seasoned correctly.
By seasoning your morcon, you give the dish a unique flair that separates it from the crowd.
Different kinds of seasoning work better with different types of foods.
For example, saltier dishes call for salty seasonings while sweeter ones require sweet seasonings.
Try experimenting with different combinations to see what works best for your meal.
How Do You Make A Morcon?
Morcons can be prepared using different meats like beef, chicken, fish, and even vegetables.
The most common ingredient used to prepare this Filipino dish is ground pork.
You will need to purchase an entire package of casings for making your own morcon.
You can either buy them from a local grocery store or online where they sell them by the pound.
The most important step before starting to cook the morcon is removing all the air inside the casings so it doesn’t burst while cooking on the stovetop.
- Step 1: Start with one end of the casing open. Put some water inside to soak the casing until fully expanded.
- Step 2: Fill it up with the ground pork. Tie the two ends together tightly.
- Step 3: Cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates completely.
- Step 4: Remove the cooked morcon from the pan and let it cool down.
- Step 5: Repeat steps 1 through 4 for every morcon you want to make.
- Step 6: Once done, slice each morcon into four equal pieces.
- Step 7: Serve immediately after slicing.
Ingredients for Making a Morcon Recipe
- 1 ½ pounds (0.7 kg) ground lean pork
- ¼ cup (30 g) finely chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons (56 ml) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 ounces (170 g) diced ham
- 12 ounces (340 g) sliced hot dog
- 1 ¾ cups (425g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 (16 oz.) package casings
Procedure for Making a Morcon Recipe
- Step 1: Combine all the ingredients except casings in a bowl.
- Step 2: Mix well and divide evenly between six small bowls.
- Step 3: Stuff each one with about ⅓ cup (80 g) of mixture per bowl.
- Step 4: Wrap each morcon securely in a piece of plastic wrap.
- Step 5: Place each wrapped morcon in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Step 6: Take out one morcon at time and remove the plastic wrap.
- Step 7: Open up the casing and fill it with remaining mixture.
- Step 8: Close the casing and tie the two ends tight.
- Step 9: Cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates completely.
- Step 10: Let it cool off and then serve.
What Is The History Of The Morcon Recipe?
The word “embutido” comes from two Spanish words, meaning “meat wrapped in intestine”, so technically speaking, a morcon isn’t really a meatloaf but more like a mini sausage.
The name “Morcon” was originally given to this dish by its inventor, Jose Sison who was also known for inventing the pancit and the kare kare recipes.
As an aside, there’s actually another version of morcon called the “Mocón,” which contains beef instead of pork.
This recipe has been around since 17th century Spain when it was first introduced by the Spaniards.
However, the original morcon recipe contained only pork and rice.
Eventually, the ingredients were expanded to include different types of meats, vegetables, and seafood as well.
For example, a traditional morcon may contain pieces of fish, shrimp, clams, prawns, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, spinach, cabbage, celery, parsley, coriander leaves, cilantro, water chestnuts, and eggs.
According to legend, Morcon was invented by a woman named María Rufina Bautista on her husband’s birthday back in 1885.
She used leftover bread dough and cooked the meat mixture inside the intestines of pigs until they were fully inflated.
Afterwards, she cut open the pig’s stomach and filled them with what was left over before sealing them shut again with bread dough.
Since then, Morcons have become a staple at many Philippine wedding ceremonies and funerals.
In addition to being a popular food item throughout the Philippines, Morcon is also commonly consumed in Japan where it’s referred to as ichiban dashi bori.
In fact, Japanese tourists even come all the way to Manila just to eat morcos.
What Are Some Variations Of The Morcon Recipe?
Traditionally, there are two different types of morcons: one with only ground beef and another with both ground beef and ground pig parts.
The former is known as “Moraong Morcon” while the latter is called “Pork Morcon.”
There are also variations of these two recipes such as adding eggs to the ground beef version and using only ground pig parts in the Pork Morcon.
- Bacon Morcon – Bacon is added to the ground beef morcon recipe so you can have it on top of your regular morcon sandwich.
- Chili Morcon – Chili powder and tomato sauce adds flavor to any morcon recipe.
- Green Pea Morcon – Green peas add an extra touch of green color to this traditional food.
- Ham Morcon – Ham slices replace the hot dog pieces when making a Ham Morcon.
- Jelly Roll Morcon – Jelly roll dough wraps around the morcon mixture before baking.
- Hot Dog Morcon – Hot dog pieces replace the ground pig parts when making a Hot Dog Morcon.
- Meatballs Morcon – Meatballs are used instead of the ground pig parts when preparing a Pork Morcon.
- Oatmeal Morcon – Oats give the morcon its signature texture.
- Sausage Morcon – Sausages are used instead of the ground pig parts when preparing a Pork Morcon.
- Spaghetti & Meatball Morcon – Spaghetti and meatballs are mixed together then wrapped inside a large sausage casing before being baked.
What Are Some Tips For Making A Perfect Morcon?
There are many ways to cook a morcon but here are a few guidelines you can follow if you want to achieve the best results possible:
- Use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
- Always use your hands instead of a machine like a food processor to mix everything together.
- Keep in mind that it might take longer than usual.
- If you decide to add seasonings, only do so after mixing all the ingredients together.
- Don’t overstuff it because otherwise, you will end up with an unevenly shaped loaf.
- For the stuffing part, don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you.
- After cooking, allow the morcon to cool completely before slicing it into pieces.
- You should serve it immediately after cutting it.
- It can also be reheated by placing it on a microwaveable plate and heating it for about 1 minute.
- Make sure not to overcook it! You may have to adjust how long it takes to heat depending on its size and thickness.
What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Making A Morcon?
There are several things to keep in mind while cooking morcons so they turn out well.
- Use dry ingredients only.
- Don’t overstuff the morcon with too many fillings.
- Do not use raw eggs.
- Don’t put salt on top of your morcon before wrapping it up.
- Cooking time should be about an hour and half or more depending on how much filling you want inside.
- Make sure you wrap the morcon tightly enough so there will be no leakage from any holes you might have left open.
How Can You Tell If A Morcon Is Cooked Properly?
Morcons come in different sizes depending on the occasion they’re being prepared to serve.
The usual size of a morcon is about 2 feet long with 1 foot wide and ½ inch thick, but it can also be smaller or bigger than this depending on your preference.
The length of time that it takes to cook a morcon depends on how big it is.
A small morcon may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour while a larger one may require up to two hours.
This is because its stuffing needs more time to fully absorb the liquid inside the casing.
To ensure that a morcon cooks evenly all over, place the whole thing on top of a metal skewer, grill, or pan so that the heat can transfer equally throughout the entire item.
If you want to use another method like frying instead of grilling, just place the whole morcon onto a deep skillet and cover it with water.
Make sure there’s enough water covering the morcon so that no part of it will burn.
When you see bubbles forming around the edges, start checking the temperature every few minutes until the morcon has reached the desired level of doneness.
If not done yet, continue cooking until it reaches the proper degree of doneness.
However, before removing the morcon from the fire, try placing it directly under cold running water to quench the steam and prevent it from overcooking further.
It is important to keep in mind that the morcon should never be left unattended once it starts cooking since it could easily burn due to high temperatures.
What Are Some Serving Suggestions For A Morcon?
The word “morcon” comes from the Spanish term “morena con chorizo,” which means ‘dark with sausages.’ Morcons come in different sizes, shapes, flavors, ingredients, and textures.
Some examples include morenas (smaller), morenitas (larger), and morentas (the most common). The size varies depending on how much stuffing it has.
- Morena – small morcon
- Morenita – medium morcon
- Moreta – large morcon
Morcon is typically made out of beef, but you can also make it out of chicken, mutton, goat, lamb, rabbit, duck, fish, shellfish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and even insects like crickets and locusts!
Most people prefer to use pork because it gives off an aroma when it cooks.
Pork is widely used in Philippine cuisine because it doesn’t require refrigeration unlike many other meats.
Meat is usually seasoned with sugar, salt, vinegar, pepper, ginger, garlic, onion powder, and other spices.
What Are Some Popular Morcon Recipes?
The most common types of morcons include the following ingredients:
- ground beef
- hot dog
- rice flour
There are also variations on this basic formula depending on what you want to add to it.
Some versions may have different meats like chicken, fish, and/or vegetables added in instead of just one kind of meat.
Others might use more spices like dried chilies, garlic powder, onion powder, and even cumin.
- 2 lbs beef eye
- 2 pieces beef cubes dissolved
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 piece lemon
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 piece medium sized carrot
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 4 pieces hotdogs cut in half lengthwise
- 2 pieces pickled dill
- 3 pieces hard boiled eggs sliced
- 3 ounces cheddar cheese
- For at least one hour, marinate the beef in soy sauce and lemon juice.
- Lay the hotdogs, pickle, carrot, cheese, and egg on one side of the beef, which should be placed on a flat surface.
- To prevent the meat from opening up, roll the beef around the fillings and secure it with cooking string.
- Adding heat to a pan with frying oil
- Put the floured rolled beef in a pan and fry it until the outside is a medium brown color. Place the fried rolling beef in a casserole with the beef stock and bring to a boil.
- Salt the steak, add half of the soy sauce-lemon juice marinade, and heat until tender (about 2 hours using ordinary casserole or 30 minutes if a pressure cooker is used)
- Optional: The meat should be fried for at least two minutes.
- Slice the serving portions after removing the strings.
- Place there and then add the sauce.
- Serve warm. Enjoy and share!