This Beef Morcon Recipe, lovingly called Morcon ala Emilia is a recipe shared by Chef Myrna Segismundo at the Maya Kitchen Cooking class for the Culinary Elite Series for her December Christmas menu.
What is Morcon
Beef Morcon is a classic Filipino Christmas Food and mostly served only for the Noche Buena menu and on Pinoy special occasions. This Pinoy soy-braised beef stew has all the comforts of home in a bowl. Honestly, I have no memory of this dish ever being served at our house except for Christmas. I also remember this dish being prepared for my son’s baptism, cooked by a relative.
Chef Myrna shares that this beef morcon recipe is made by her mother and she has been faithful to how her mother made it, even ignoring cooking techniques taught by cooking schools. Watching her make it using traditional Morcon making preparations though, I was nodding my head because this is also how we made this dish in our province except that ours has tomato paste. The marinade is easy -just like preparing marinade for beef tapa. Like in Batangas Morcon, there is no need to brown the meat too!
What Part of Beef to Use For Morcon
It is alright to buy a cheap cut of meat for your beef morcon, maybe an eye round and, and have the butcher cut it ala tapa. Feel free to pound it so the meat will be softer. A lot of recipes call for sirloin but Chef Myrna shares that it is useless to buy the softest (and priciest) cut of meat because beef morcon is a stew anyway and you will cook it for a long time. Cheap beef cuts are also so much tastier! The long, slow cooking process allows the beef to become meltedly soft in its savory sauce.
What Chorizo To Use for Beef Morcon
If you’re looking for a quality chorizo, she mentioned El Rey or Marca El Rey Chorizo de Bilbao. In the Philippines, Marca El Rey is considered THE chorizo, But you can equally just use the canned Purefoods chorizo if that is too hard to find. Food snobs might frown at the canned chorizo though. It definitely tastes better to have real chorizo because it is much tastier but there you have it. It really depends on your options and budget. Don’t use hotdogs or Vienna sausage though. Because the point of the chorizo is for that smoked peppery sweet salty flavor that works so well with tomato sauce. For the titas, it’s actually considered a secret ingredient to most sauces.
I mentioned in one of the posts I wrote that Chef Myrna Segismundo is funny and engaging. I also want to mention that she’s a very practical cook. She has no trouble suggesting that for the Morcon stuffing, you put scraps of pork lying around, bits of bacon fat and ham especially at Christmas and you have these in extra. They can extend your morcon and add so much to the flavor too!
Can You Use The Oven to Stew Beef Morcon?
The cooking time is a bit long at about 2 -3 hours on low fire so it’s better to prepare this a day or 2 ahead. This is also one of the dishes that tastes better the next day. Another option, though this is not on Chef Myrna’s recipe is to bake it at 350°F (175°C) for 1 1/2 hours, making sure to brown the beef on all sides to seal in the flavors. If you’re stewing it in the oven, his step adds extra flavor and texture to the morcon.
How To Cook Beef Morcon Recipe
On sauteing -onion versus garlic first.
So there’s been a raging debate since forever, over which to add on the pan first, whether garlic or onion. I am a garlic first warrior. This is Chef Myrna’s input. while discussing her beef morcon recipe, we happened to discuss the which one comes first issue. According to her, there really is no right or wrong way and it’s a matter of preference. We Filipinos have it garlic first because we want the garlic crunchy or tostado. Mediterranean style cooking have the onions first because they want to sweat the onions -so there. I hope that piece of trivia helped for your next cooking adventure! :)
So there you have it! The most important part of your Christmas menu and Filipino Christmas Food! Beef morcón is like a big hug in a pan. Comforting, nostalgic, and ultra satisfying as the Christmas chill sets in. Enjoy!