Morcon in the Philippines is sort of a meat version of a Swiss Roll, along the same lines as German Rouladen, or a French Ballotine. Slices of the roll show a cross section of the beef and the ingredients layered inside it.
To make it, you use a large, flat, boneless, piece of beef, about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick (sirloin or flank are fine.)
The beef is marinated starting the day before in soy sauce and lemon. Then, the next day it is removed from the marinade, laid out flat on work surface, and pounded flatter with a meat mallet.
Meanwhile, the stuffing mixture has been made. Items in a stuffing mixture can include:
- bacon slices
- grated cheese
- chopped boiled egg
- chopped sweet pickle
- chopped sausage such as Chorizo de bilbao
- chopped carrots
The stuffing mixture is spread out on the beef. Tthe beef is then rolled up,and tied with some butcher’s string on the ends and in the middle to keep all the stuffing in.
The roll is dredged in flour, then seared in a large Dutch oven or casserole dish with some oil on top the stove to brown the sides. Then tomato sauce and either beef or chicken stock are added. It is simmered for 15 minutes, turning frequently. The sauce is sweetened with sugar or honey, and seasoned with chile pepper. The meat is allowed to simmer another 10 minutes. It is then taken out of the pan, and let rest a few minutes.
The string is removed, and it is sliced into half-inch (1 cm) wide slices to serve hot. It is sliced across the end, so that the spiral inside shows. The sauce from the pot is put in a bowl and served on the side.
Some versions omit the tomato sauce. Some versions omit the boiled egg from the filling, and inside arrange it sliced around the beef on a platter.
If a tougher beef is used, you can cover the pan and simmer it on very low for about 2 hours. But, if cooked too long, the beef can go very dry and chewy.
Morcon is traditional at Christmas Eve (noche buena.)