I learned to make this dish from my late grandmother. Over the years I have managed to tweak the recipe in a few ways, which I think refined the dish or something. I could just be being presumptuous. This time there is another twist to our tried and tested recipe: for the first time I used a pressure cooker. My mother passed the cooking duties to me and this is something I’m perfectly happy to do. However, I was working on a couple of deadlines that I simply didn’t have the time for ‘low and slow’ stage of cooking Morcon. Fortunately, last Christmas, we purchased a pressure cooker, which we used to tenderize the tripe and pork leg that we used for making Callos–our Christmas dinner main dish. Anyway, here is the recipe.
- 1 kg beef flank steak, cut 2-inch thick
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups canned tomato puree or sauce
- 3 pieces Bay leaves
- 3 cups water
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Parsley, for garnish
- Twine or string
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- Juice of 8 calamansi
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 pieces hotdog or chorizo de bilbao, halved lengthwise
- 6 pieces sweet pickles
- 4 slices (lengthwise) sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and halved lengthwise
- 1 carrot, quartered lengthwise
- Marinate beef in the marinade for about 30 minutes. Drain and save marinade.
- Spread beef. You will need a rectangular piece of meat, measuring about 12″ by 8″. A 1-kg piece of beef flank can yield up to 3 rolls. Lay the filling ingredients on a row, along the short side of the beef, one after the other. Distribute the fillings evenly. Short on the short side then tie and secure with twine or string. You can view a video tutorial on tying meat HERE.
- Brown the beef rolls in hot oil. Place in another tray. On the same pan, add garlic, onion. When translucent, add the marinade, tomato puree/ sauce, and water. Season with salt and pepper.
- Now, the “traditional” low and slow method is to add the beef rolls to the pan, bring the liquid to a boil then simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. By the time the meat is tender, the liquid will have thickened to a sauce-like consistency.
- In this version, I put everything in a pressure cooker and cooked it for about 20 minutes. The obvious advantage of using the pressure cooker is that the meat is tenderized faster than the usual method. However, the liquid in which it was cooked did not thicken. So I transferred the liquid to another pan, added oyster sauce, boiled then simmered it until it thickened, after about 30 minutes.
- To serve, after letting the meat roll rest for about 15 minutes. transfer it to a chopping board, cut the strings and slice into 1/2-inch thick disks. Arrange on a platter and pour the sauce over the sliced rolls. Garnish with parsley.