Menudo is one of the most popular tomato based dish in Filipino cooking. By the name itself you would know that it has Spanish/Mexican influence. In my mom’s side of the family, menudo is always cooked by par boiling the meat and other seasonings first. In Tagalog this is “sangkutsa”. My Lola (grandmother) used to say that this will not only help tenderize the meat but give it more flavor and eliminate unwanted smell of meat sometimes.
To make, place 1 lb of cubed pork (I used pork butt) in a medium sized pan. Add juice of half a lemon, 1/4 cup soy sauce, enough water just to cover the meat and 1 tsp ground pepper. Let this simmer until meat is almost tender. This is “sangkutsa”.
In another pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and sauté onions, garlic and tomatoes until the vegetables are softened. Add the cubed pork that was par boiled and sauté for a bit before adding the liquid it was cooked on.
Pour a small can of tomato sauce and a cup of water and let it simmer for a few minutes. You may add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce if it is a bit bland. You then add diced potatoes and carrots and cook until these are fork tender but not mushy. Last, add diced red peppers. If you can buy good quality beef liver, these is usually added towards the last few minutes of cooking. Like adobo, each Filipino family has their own style of cooking menudo, some do not add carrots, others would include raisins and so on.
Serve with a steaming bowl of white rice.