Jun 8, 2013

Classic Embutido (Filipino-Style Meatloaf)

Did you know that "Embutido" is the generic term for "sausage" in the Spanish language? I just learned this recently as I was doing some research on our latest post. I knew that the Pinoy Embutido was something based on a Spanish dish because we have been colonized by Spain for nearly 400 years so obviously we have a lot of Spanish influence in our cuisine.
I also thought that the Filipino version was really just a twist on the regular meatloaf - just shaped in the form of a log. After all, it has ground meat and some bread crumbs added, too. But now I have some assumptions on why that is the shape of our Embutido and why we use pork instead of the usual ground beef. Perhaps because it was originally based on a Spanish sausage but somehow has evolved into a meatloaf... Now if you wish it to be more sausage-like rather than a meatloaf, I suppose you can remove the breadcrumbs. :-)

Nonetheless, the Filipino version is usually encased in an aluminum foil rather than a loaf pan to retain its shape while it's being cooked. In the Philippines, where not everyone has an oven, the Embutido is usually steamed. My mom often uses this style of cooking but since I am here in the US I just bake it.

As  you can imagine, there are many variations of Embutido. This is what I often use as my guide when I make one. Feel free to adapt this recipe to your own liking. Often, I get a pre-seasoned ground pork so I don't add as much salt so feel free to adjust it to your taste. My mom never measures her embutido like most cooks in the Philippines; she eyeballs it. However, to avoid guess work and make sure that the embutido tastes the way you want it to be - this is my tip - after mixing all the ingredients together, take about a teaspoon of the meat mixture and then fry it in a little oil. My mom does this all the time. Taste it and then tweak if necessary, adding more seasoning if needed. If you have reached the desired taste, wrap it all up and then steam or bake.

In the Philippines, this is a typical party food so it's served warm, room temperature or even cold. In our house though, after it's been cooked and left to cool - we like to fry it in a little oil before eating it to give it some nice brown crust and more flavor! Serve it with some ketchup or even some sweet chili sauce. Enjoy this Filipino specialty. :-)

1 lb ground Pork
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon (serving spoon size) Teriyaki or Worcestershire sauce*
2-4 slices of soft bread (depending on the size of the slice), torn into small pieces (or 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs)
1/4 cup milk or as needed to have a good sticky mixture
1/2 cup Raisins
3 Tablespoons Carrots, finely chopped
1 4 oz Jar of Pimientos, diced
3 Tablespoons, sweet Pickle relish
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
A few pieces of canned Vienna Sausage or 3 Hotdogs (optional)

3 pieces Aluminum Foil - enough to wrap around the pork log (see photo below - one pork roll is roughly 1/3 of the ground meat mixture)
*This adds more flavor but you can opt to just increase the amount of salt instead if you don't like using either of the sauces.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl except for the sausages or hotdogs.

Divide the mixture into three parts. Get the aluminum foil and place 1/3 of the mixture on it. Spread it and place the sausages or 1 hotdog on top of it. Repeat with the remaining ground mixture.

Roll the meat into a log.

Twist both ends of the aluminum foil until sealed tightly. This mixture makes about 3 pork logs.

Bake at 350 F for about an hour. Note that some liquid from the meat may come out of the foil while baking - but that's fine.

Take the pork logs out of the oven and let them cool completely before slicing each diagonally. You can serve these cold, warm or room temp. These can be frozen, too. We fry the slices in our house before we eat them and always serve them with a sauce like ketchup or even sweet chili sauce. These are a great party finger food, too.  Enjoy!

This recipe is featured at Super Sunday Party.

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  1. that looks really good. Love the whole sausage in it. Cheers

  2. Thank you for posting this. I made Picadillo Beef a few weeks ago with raisins and it made me think of this dish. Since then I've been craving it so you answered my craving. :)


    1. That's wonderful Tabitha. I love Raisins, too!

  3. My mom cooks this too! I love it when hotdog is used and yes, frying it for a while before eating does bring out the flavor more! Although I have not made it with breadcrumbs. Might have it a go!

    1. I think every Pinoy Mom has their own yummy version. Thanks, Micole.

  4. YUM! This looks delish!

    Thanks for stopping by Super Sunday - can't wait to see what you bring us next week!



    1. Who cares!!! It's a good recipe! Embutido refers to cold meats so can be a number of things.

    2. Thank you! This is a Filipino food and granted that we borrowed the word from Spanish - this is how it evolved in the Philippine cuisine. Please enjoy! :)

    3. @ Sergio - So passionate about embutido you need to yell? Embutido means "stuffed", as in, like a sausage... go to a translation site and rant over there, this is a food site and your comment does nothing for this delicious recipe!

  6. Hi! I tried this yesterday but with hard boiled eggs and sweet blend ketchup. It tasted great! My concern is the firmness of my embutido. It is not soft nor breaks down when being sliced. I just want the embutido to look firmer. Any tips?

    PS. I will try your special fried frice next Sunday.

    1. Hi Maria! The best thing is to cut the embutido once it's cooled down preferably right out of the fridge. That's what my MOM always did. If it's cold it won't break down. Thereafter you can reheat it by frying in a little oil or serve sliced in room temp. Hope that helps.


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