In the Philippines or at least in our household, this is the foundation of a lot of dishes especially when combined with a lot of vegetables. I always loved coming home to the aroma of this dish cooking in the stove top as I know it would be either made with my favorite vegetable – squash or some green beans, among others.
Giniling is the Tagalog term for ground and specifically
refers to ground meat. Ginisa means to sauté or cook in oil with garlic, onions, or tomatoes which
is what this dish is all about. Guisado is
a Spanish term which refers to braising or stewing meat with tomatoes, garlic,
onions and soy sauce – the Asian guisado, anyway. Which is which? Well, whether
you call this ginisa or guisado… it’s down home good especially when you combine it with vegetables or use it for omelettes.
1 Tablespoon Olive or Vegetable oil (more if using non-stick pan)
4-6 Garlic cloves, chopped (love garlic so I always use a lot!)
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 lb ground Pork or Beef (whichever you fancy)
3 Roma or Plum tomatoes, diced and seeded (if desired)
3 Tablespoons soy sauce (adjust it to the level of saltiness you can
½ cup water
Salt and pepper
Patis / Fish sauce (optional)
Heat oil in medium in a deep pan. Sauté the garlic and onions for about a 1-2
Add the ground meat and cook until it changes its color.
Crumble the meat with a fork to prevent clumping as you brown it. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. You can use fish sauce instead of salt for better flavor, if you wish.
Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Pour
in the soy sauce and water.
Bring to a boil. Cover then simmer on low heat for
at least half an hour to allow the meat to absorb the flavor of the liquid.
Correct the seasoning if necessary. If it needs a bit of lifting up, a little
fish sauce will go a long, long way!
So how can we use this basic recipe in other dishes?
The possibilities are endless.
Add your favorite vegetables and cook until tender – from cabbage, squash, green or Asian long beans,
Add to baked beans so it becomes “true” Pork and Beans.
This is also a great stuffing for cabbage or even for Bell Peppers.
Definitely, indispensable for eggplant omelette (Tortang Talong) and Spanish/Potato omelette.
Note: If you intend to use this as a stuffing, either
omit the water or let it evaporate as you cook it. But if you wish to add
veggies to the stew then retain the liquid so you have enough to pour over the
Make this ahead, freeze and use as the need arises!
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