You have probably heard of meatloaf, but have you heard of Filipino-style meatloaf? I would like to believe this word is the best way to describe embutido. Embutido is surprisingly easy to put together as long as you gather the ingredients and prepare them correctly!
Update Disclosure: This post has been updated for one or more of the following reasons: easier reading, updated photos, clearer instructions, and just plain ol' improvements to the recipe (as noted).
What is Embutido in English?
Embutido in Spanish translates directly to "sausage". And while the Filipino embutido resembles the shape of a sausage, its texture and preparation happen to align more similarly with the American meatloaf. Spanish sausages cure over a number of days as they slowly dry and develop flavors. The Filipino version has enough work involved but kind of genius. You won't have to wait long to eat it!
Gather these ingredients for this recipe:
- Ground Pork
- Red Bell Pepper
- Picked Cornichons
- Granulated Sugar
- Salt & Pepper
I will never stop repeating myself: Filipino food is flexible and open to interpretations. So long as you somewhat follow the base recipes of traditional dishes.
You can choose to leave out ingredients like raisins listed in the recipe card except the ground pork. But you also have an option when it comes to alternatives for what meat to use.
- Ground Pork: Swap pork for any other ground meat. In fact, I used a combination of pork and beef for a deeper flavor.
- Veggies: Use what's in your kitchen such as garlic, green onion, etc. I do recommend setting aside a carrot so it's more authentic.
- Cornichons: The original and traditional recipes call for relish instead of cornichons, so use those first if they are available. Another option is picked gherkins.
- Eggs: You can replace the center filling of boiled eggs with slices of hotdog.
- Milk: Simply use water instead of milk. Another great substitute would be broth or stock.
- Taste Your Mix: After mixing the embutido containing all of your ingredients, take a small piece and fry it to check the flavor. Then adjust the ingredients as necessary.
- Measure Your Steamer: You want to fit the embutido rolls in your steamer. To do that, measure the largest width of your steamer and make the embutido length less than that number.
- Check Meat is Fully Cooked: The center of the embutido has to be cooked through without any pink in the middle. You can check by carefully opening up the aluminum and using a meat thermometer to measure the inside temperature. It should read about 75°C (165°F).
How to Make Filipino Embutido
- Mix All Ingredients
- Start with prepping all the ingredients that will be mixed together. Prepare a large bowl and add the ground beef, then all of the mixings. Next, add the whisked eggs and breadcrumbs.
- Spread the Meat
- Lay out a large piece of aluminum foil on a flat surface. Spread some of the meat across the length of the foil, about a quarter-inch thick.
- Leave some clearance from the edges.
- Add the center filling if you are using any.
- Roll Like Sushi
- When you are ready, gently roll the meat like you would when making sushi.
- Squeeze and shape the log as you finish rolling, then wrap the foil around and twist the ends close. The foil should be tight enough to keep the meat from spilling out but loose enough to allow some steam inside.
- Steam It
- Place the wrapped embutido in a steamer to cook the entire roll. Based on the size of the embutido and the steamer, you might have to steam one at a time.
- Add water to a large pot and bring it to a boil. Place the steamer on top of the pot. Steam the embutido for about forty to fifty minutes.
- After steaming, rest on the counter for ten minutes, then slice in pieces.
How to Eat Embutido
You can serve embutido lukewarm to warm. You usually wouldn't eat embutido with rice (surprise!) and just eat it on its own as finger food. Most Filipinos like to eat embutido with something called banana ketchup! You can find this at most Asian grocery stores.
My other favorite sauce to pair it with is a mix of half tomato ketchup and half mayonnaise. Both sauces are optional!
One of the many benefits of making embutido is the ability to store it for a long time. After steaming, you can leave it to cool to room temperature for about two to three hours before placing the unsliced embutido in the freezer. Take it out of the freezer and re-steam it for ten minutes or until no longer frozen in the middle.
Embutido (Filipino Meatloaf) Recipe
- 500 grams ground meat (pork or beef) use a mix of beef & pork for a deeper taste
- ½ onion, minced
- ½ red bell pepper, minced
- ½ carrot, minced
- 2 tablespoon pickled cornichons with some brine, minced
- 2-3 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 60 grams milk
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 30 grams breadcrumbs
- 2-3 tablespoon raisins optional
Optional Middle Fillings
- boiled egg, sliced in quarters
- hot dogs, sliced lengthwise
- In a large bowl, add ground meat, and all other ingredients together.
- Using your hands, gently mix all of the ingredients until they are well incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Spread aluminum foil onto a flat surface and spread the meat mixture on top making a square leaving some space between the edge of the meat and the edge of the aluminum foil.
- Add fillings such as strips of hotdogs or slices of boiled eggs on the middle.
- Begin slowly rolling the meat, similar to a sushi roll, by carefully pulling at the aluminum foil on top so it doesn't fold into the meatloaf.
- When you are finished rolling and shaping, twist the ends of the embutido. Place inside a steamer basket. Bring a pot of water to boil and put the steamer with embutido on top. Steam for 40 - 50 minutes until the inside temperature of the meat reaches 75°C (~165°F).
- Remove steamer from heat and let it cool for about ten minutes before unwrapping aluminum foil. Slice into pieces before serving.
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