In the Philippines, morcon is rolled beef flanks stuffed with vegetables, slices of cheese and strips of chorizo de bilbao. It is a popular dish served in parties because of the attractive appearance. A cross section of the morcon shows the different colors of the fillings.
Chorizo de bilbao, a spicy lard-packed Spanish sausage, is quite expensive. So is beef, for that matter. And, since tender cuts of beef are necessary for cooking morcon, well, it’s understandable why morcon is considered a special occasion dish. But, for everyday cooking, we can always substitute, can’t we?
Back in 2004, I figure why not use pork cutlets, season them well and do away with the chorizo? Just as impressive looking and just as delicious — in fact, more than good enough for the noche buena table.
In 2016, while attending culinary school, my daughter, Alex, came up with a much better stuffed and rolled pork loin a.k.a. pork morcon recipe. After stuffing the pork cutlets, she dredged the pork rolls in flour, fried them then added teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki sauce? Oh, yes. Instead of the usual tomato sauce, it’s teriyaki sauce.
Alex’s version of pork morcon was delicious! The flour on the surface of the pork rolls thickened the teriyaki sauce and made it cling to the pork rolls better. And, inside, the vegetables remained lightly crisp. Beautiful, beautiful textures in this dish. To go with the stuffed and rolled pork loin, Alex made a potato and egg salad which she sprinkled with crumbled crispy fried bacon.
Stuffed and rolled pork loin
- ¼ cup Japanese soy sauce
- ¼ cup sake
- ¼ cup mirin
- 6 pork cutlets - each about 4"x3" and ¼" thick
- 1 bell pepper - cut into strips
- 1 small carrot - cut into strips
- 200 grams baby asparagus
- ¼ cup flour
- oil for frying - no, not deep frying
Make the teriyaki sauce
- In a small saucepan, pour the soy sauce, sake and mirin.
- Boil until reduced by half.
- Set aside.
Stuff and roll the pork
- Lay a pork cutlet flat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Arrange strips of bell pepper, carrot and asparagus on one side.
- Roll as tightly as you can and secure with wooden toothpicks.
- Repeat until all six pork cutlets have been filled and rolled.
- Dredge the pork rolls in flour; shake off the excess.
Cook the pork
- Heat enough cooking oil to coat the bottom of a frying pan.
- Fry the pork rolls, rolling them in hot oil for even browning. If the pork cutlets are thin enough, the pork rolls should be cooked through in five to seven minutes.
- Pour the teriyaki sauce into the pan. Swirl the pan to coat every inch of the pork rolls. Continue cooking until the meat has absorbed the sauce.
- Scoop out the stuffed and rolled pork loin with teriyaki sauce.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the wooden toothpicks and slice.
- Serve the stuffed and rolled pork loin with bread, rice or salad.