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 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 tomato sauce is absorbed and the mixture is mostly dry. Too much liquid will keep the meatloaf from setting well.
- Line your llanera with plastic film and leave an inch overhang so the eggs, pineapple, and other garnishes don’t stick to the mold and the steamed loaf can be easily lifted from the mold tins in one piece.
- 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.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1-1/2 pounds pork butt, diced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped (set aside a few strips for garnish)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped (set aside a small part to make carrot florets for garnish)
- 1/2 cup green peas, thawed
- 12 ounces luncheon meat, diced
- 1/2 cup liver spread
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 3 pineapple slices, halved
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into slices
- 4 eggs, well beaten
- 3 large llaneras
- plastic film
- In a wide pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add pork and cook until lightly browned.
- Add tomato sauce and water, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Lower heat, cover and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes or until meat is tender and sauce is completely absorbed.
- Add chopped bell peppers, carrots, and green peas. Stir to combine. Continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until vegetables are heated through. Remove from pan and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
In the bowl, add the luncheon meat, liver spread, pineapple tidbits, bread crumbs, sweet relish, and raisins to the pork mixture. Stir to mix well.
- Line sides and bottom of each llanera or baking dish with plastic film, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang on sides.
- Arrange boiled egg slices, pineapple slices, bell pepper strips, and carrot florets on plastic-lined llaneras.
- 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 meat mixture is set and cooked through.
- Refrigerator 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.