Hardinera made with a colorful diced pork mixture topped with eggs and pineapple and steamed to perfection in molds. This Filipino-style meatloaf is as pretty as it is delicious!
Embutido has always been my Filipino meatloaf of choice for every get-together but after trying hardinera for the first time last weekend, I will certainly be switching to this Lucban’s specialty for our Christmas feast this year.
A hodgepodge of diced pork, luncheon meat, liver spread, sweet pickles, cheese, green peas, raisins and pineapple tidbits, this steamed pork loaf is an interesting yet nonetheless delicious myriad of flavors. It’s the perfect balance of savory and sweet that will have your guests coming back for more!
Although both are steamed and share a few similar ingredients, hardinera is really a whole different beast from the classic embutido.
- While embudito uses ground meat and is steamed raw, Lucban’s meatloaf is made of diced pork which is precooked in a tomato sauce before steaming to set.
- The pork mixture is packed into llanera mold or baking dish instead of rolling into logs with aluminum foil.
- Instead of wrapping the meat mixture around the various fillings in embutido, the pork loaf is adorned with the hard boiled eggs, pineapples, carrots, and bell peppers for a festive look.
Tips on How to Make Lucban Hardinera:
- When cooking the diced pork, make sure to simmer until the sauce is absorbed and the mixture is mostly dry. Too much liquid will keep the meatloaf from setting well.
- Line the llaneras with banana leaves and brush with butter to keep the meatloaf from sticking.
- Pour beaten eggs on the garnishes before packing in the pork mixture and then pour the remaining beaten eggs over the whole mixture as well to help the loaf set and hold together.
- 2 pounds whole pork butt, cut into four parts
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 cups tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup luncheon meat, diced
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits
- 1 cup cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- butter, softened
- 4 eggs, well beaten
- 4 pineapple slices, halved
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into slices
- 4 carrot florets
- 8 red bell pepper strips
- Rinse pork and drain well.
- In a deep pot, combine pork, sliced onions, crushed garlic, 1 cup of the ketchup, 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and enough water to cover. Stir to distribute.
- Bring to a boil, skimming scum that floats on top. Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is fork-tender.
- Remove pork from the pot and allow to cool to touch. Cut into small cubes.
- In a wide pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add the remaining 1 cup tomato ketchup and 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Stir and simmer for 1 minute or until heated through.
- Add pork, luncheon meat, bell peppers, sweet relish, cheese, raisins, sugar, and salt to taste.
- Add about 1/2 cup water and continue to cook until the sauce is mostly absorbed.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool completely.
- Brush the bottom and sides of 4 medium llaneras with softened butter.
- Pass banana leaves over hot flames for a few seconds or until soft and pliable. Cut into oval shapes, large enough to cover the bottom of llaneras.
- Line each llanera with banana leaf and lightly brush with butter.
- Arrange boiled egg slices, pineapple slices, bell pepper strips, and carrot florets on top of the banana leaves.
- Divide and pour half of the beaten eggs into each llanera molds over the garnishings.
- Spoon pork mixture into the molds. Pack the mixture well and smooth top.
- Divide and pour the remaining half of the egg mixture over the pork mixture, spreading across to fully cover the top.
- Cover each llanera tightly with aluminum foil. Steam for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the meat mixture is set.
- Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until completely cool. Invert Hardinera on a serving plate and peel plastic film. Cut into desired slices and serve with ketchup.