Beef Morcon for the Holidays...

Growing up in a country where there's no Thanksgiving celebration, I was at lost as to what to prepare when we first had our first Thanksgiving here in Texas. We relocated here from the Philippines a week before Thanksgiving Day in 2004, and though we were invited by a friend to celebrate with them, I decided to cook something that we can bring. I searched over the internet about what's usually served on a Thanksgiving feast, and though I wanted to be adventurous and try cooking a usual Thanksgiving dish, I opted to just make something that I'm used to prepare. Beef Morcon, which is a favorite holiday food in the Philippines was one of them...and surprisingly, it was a hit not only to our friend's Filipino guests but also to the American ones!  
This will be the 8th time that we're celebrating Thanksgiving here, and though I've been preparing traditional American Thanksgiving food (like roast turkey, mashed potatoes & green bean casserole) since our second time, Beef Morcon is one of those Filipino food that I love making for Thanksgiving. I don't know if it's simply because it was my late Mom's favorite dish to cook for my birthday (which falls on Christmas Day) or it's my way of looking back to our first Thanksgiving celebration 7 years ago. Well I guess both are good reasons...but I must say that Beef Morcon is certainly a dish to love.
 
Let me share with you my Mom's Beef Morcon recipe that I altered a bit. You will find this dish irresistible, and you definitely won't regret if you'll make this a part of your Thanksgiving or Holiday feast. It's such a good addition to the usual star of the dinner table, Mr. Gobble Gobble Turkey. The best thing about Beef Morcon is that you can prepare it ahead of time!
Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs. beef shoulder roast
  • salt & pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 medium sized carrot, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into same length as the carrot
  • 1 whole pickled cucumber, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 pc. hickory smoked sausage, quartered lengthwise
  • 4 slices hickory smoked bacon
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized onion,chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Parsley flakes, for garnish
Procedure:
*Makes 4 rolls
1. Slice the beef into thin sheets. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
2. Wrap a quarter of carrot, celery, sausage and pickled cucumber with a slice of bacon. 
Put on one end of each slice of beef. 
Roll the beef, keeping the filling in the center. Tie with kitchen twine to ensure that the roll won't open up while cooking. 
3. Dredge each beef roll in flour. In a big skillet over medium heat, fry rolls in vegetable oil until they are evenly light brown. Remove from pan and set aside. 
4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic, onions and tomatoes in 2 Tbsp oil (where you fried the rolls) for a minute. Add the stock, bay leaves, pineapple juice, soy sauce and tomato sauce. Mix well and bring to a boil.
5. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Reduce heat to medium low. Add the beef rolls and simmer for about two hours or until tender.  Remove beef rolls from saucepan and allow to cool down a little.
6. Meanwhile, strain the sauce and then simmer until thick.
7. Remove kitchen twine from the rolls. Cut into slices, approximately 1/2 inch thick and arrange on a serving plate. Pour sauce over the roll slices. Garnish with parsley flakes then serve. 
 

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