Morcon is a popular Filipino dish commonly served on holidays and special occasions. Like its European counterpart, this Filipino-style roulade consists of a slice of beef rolled around choice fillings such as cheese, eggs, carrots, pickles, bacon and sausages, and then cooked by braising method. The prepared beef roll is first pan-seared on high heat to brown surfaces and seal flavors and simmered in low heat in a cooking liquid to achieve tenderness. The braising liquid, which is usually a combination of stock and tomato sauce, is then finished off with other flavorings to serve as sauce or gravy. Although the preparation may be time-consuming, morcon are really very simple to make. Just make sure to have kitchen twine on hand and the whole process will be lot easier. Happy cooking!
For the Morcon
- 2 pounds beef bottom round
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- pepper to taste
- 12 slices bacon
- 1 medium carrot peeled and sliced lengthwise into strips
- 2 hotdogs sliced lengthwise into strips
- 4 pieces Gherkins sweet pickles sliced lengthwise into strips
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese sliced lengthwise into strips
- 4 hard boiled eggs peeled and cut lengthwise into halves
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup oil
For the Sauce
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- reserved marinade from marinating beef
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups beef broth or water
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup liver spread
- kitchen twine
- Ask butcher to cut beef round morcon-style (wide beef slices). Arrange each beef slice between two heavy duty plastic wrap and with a meat mallet, pound to about 1/2-inch thick (or thinner). Repeat with remaining beef slices. Trim sides of meat to shape it as close to a rectangle.
- In a bowl, combine beef, lemon juice, soy sauce and pepper to taste. Marinate for about 30 minutes.
- In a pan over medium heat, fry bacon until cooked but still limp (not crisp). Remove on pan and drain on paper towels.
- Drain beef from marinade, squeezing any excess liquid and reserving marinade. Lay beef on a flat work surface and arrange bacon in a single layer on top of beef. Arrange strips of carrots, hotdogs, pickles and cheese and halves of eggs lengthwise over bacon. Gently gather end of beef upwards and roll neatly into a log, enclosing filling. With kitchen twine, tie beef roulades snugly at both ends and center to fully secure. Lightly dredge with flour.
- In a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, heat oil. Gently add beef roll and lightly brown on all sides. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Discard oil from skillet except about 1 tablespoon. Add onions and garlic and cook until limp. Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil, scraping sides to deglaze pan. Add tomato sauce and beef broth. Add bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Gently add beef rolls in a single layer. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour of until beef is tender. Remove beef rolls from pan and allow to stand for about 3 to 5 minutes. Slice into 1-inch thick rounds and arrange slices on serving platter. Keep warm.
- Add liver spread into sauce and stir until dissolved. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Pour sauce over morcon slices and serve hot.