Pork stomach ala-spam

Stuffed Pork Stomach ala Spam

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The ‘Chef’ of the cafeteria on one of my assignments as a temporary cook would make a couple of rolls of meatloaf for lunch to serve fifty. It’s probably one of the easiest and cheapest dishes that can be made without much sautéing or pan-frying. All it really requires is a plastic wrap, tin foil and a little patience along the way in putting it together. Preparation can also be made a day or two before it’s cooked, and it’s really not that fuzzy. I saw how he made it in large quantities, and honestly, I was not totally impressed. The ‘Chef’ still remained a total jerk which unfortunately inhibited me from working properly as he still was when I left six months after. I learned a thing or two along the way despite all the miseries he gave me.

I’ve been longing to make a meatloaf for several months now, but never really had the opportunity due to time constraints. Since the industry is slowing down now as Fall and the ‘back-to-school ‘ season begin (Weee!!), I had the time to put it together. Rain has also been pouring down massively in the city which is quite unusual for this month.

Moreover, Iska requested me to make something out of a Pork Stomach (Hog Maw), which, of course, I couldn’t decline. I’ve never cooked Pork Stomach before. I might have tasted it as an appetizer or as a ‘beer-match’ during one of those drinking sessions growing up in the Philippines, but never knew it was such. Iska also posted a Meatloaf alla ‘Spam’ recipe a couple of months ago. That totally intrigued me. I’ve stopped eating Spam and Ma-ling knowing how much additives are mixed in in those deadly but delicious canned goods and definitely something to totally avoid; health-wise. When I saw that, I knew I really had to make one sooner or later. It’s homemade for one, and that’s a plus. It was just too tempting to let go. I love pork as much Iska does, although from time to time, would skip it for health reasons. This, definitely, I won’t let go and refuse.

¼ lb. Ground Pork
¼ lb. Ground Beef
Spanish Chorizo
Carrots, diced
White Onions, minced
Garlic, minced
Salt & Ground Black Pepper
Fennel Powder
Thyme, finely chopped
Panko Breadcrumbs

1 pc. Pork Stomach (large size)
Black Peppercorns
Thyme Sprigs

Boiled Pototoes

Soak the pork stomach in Mirin overnight. Wash and rinse.

Transfer the pork stomach in a pot of boiling water with onions, garlic, ginger, Thyme sprigs, and black peppercorns. Let it boil vigorously for at least two hours and check every now and then for doneness. The stomach should be tender when pierced by a fork. Remove from the pot and let it cool down at room temperature. In the meantime, mix all the stuffing in a mixing bowl.

Slice the pork stomach in half and start filling it with the stuffing. Close and seal it with a butcher’s twine at all ends.

Wrap it like a candy with a tin foil and steam it for about an hour or so. Leave it at room temperature after steaming and leave it in the fridge overnight.

Slice the pork stomach in portions of about 1.5 inches. Set the oven to broil or high and roast the slices until golden.

I tried pan-frying the meatloaf, but it didn’t turn out as I expected. I wanted to make the pork stomach crunchier, but the better way in achieving such texture would be a deep-fat fryer. I didn’t want to go through that anymore. Athough the pork stomach came out a bit chewy, the meatloaf was not compromised and both were perfect with Sriracha and Mustard as to the standard catsup.

I also pan-fried the potatoes with herbs much like chips. This combination is a perfect appetizer. Some bread on the side will complete the starter.

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When I was growing up, my parents and I used to eat out and try different restaurants after celebrating the Sunday Mass. Moreover, during the course of the summer break, I had the opportunity to see some places which, when looking back, I had never realized how lucky I was as a teen to be able to travel. My family and I went to Europe and some parts of the United States, and what I saw along that path of my life inspired me to become a 'Chef.' The 'whites' they wore for me, during those growing-up and finding 'myself' years, portrayed a sort of fascinating and powerful figure in an extremely sophisticated, higly inviting and invigorating work place; and still maintain an unblemished and clean uniform after a very busy service. That picture of a 'Chef' stuck to my head for so many years.

True enough, with meager resources left to spend for the youngest, that dream never happened. Life went on. I went to university and studied an insignificant course, Business Management, and after graduating, I ended up working as a Credit and Financial Analyst in the banking industry in Manila; slugging it out in the corporate arena in Makati. It was the first taste of being called a 'yuppie' and was almost always looking forward to an after-office eating and drinking extravaganza in the expanding and growing Makati Business District; and, of course, the weekend.

Anyway, forging ahead to my life today, that dream as 'Chef' stayed in the back of my mind all the time that when I left the Philippines for Toronto in 2003; and after finally settling down on my own in 2005, I had started studying Professional Culinary Arts Courses in the City College to get that almost long-forgotten 'dream' going again. It was a Continuing Education Course, and more or less, students who have also shifted careers or who were trying to find work (like myself) as a newly landed found ourselves working with pots, knives and fire which I believe and I felt, everyone in class have never, ever touched during their past, professional lives.

Since then, I have been working in and out of different kitchens; flipping eggs and hamburgers, grilling steaks, shoving bread and chicken in a 500'C oven, and almost anything that can be either deep-fried or toasted just to serve hungry, sometimes pesky, customers. I became a 'grease' cook; a short-order cook with no definite place of employment, and definitely not a 'Chef.'

My articles are based on the after-thoughts of my past and present day experiences in this fast-paced, starkling, and sometimes disheveling kitchen environment. I never imagined that a kitchen 'worklife' turned that way as against the 'Ideal' environment I had thought about for years. No regrets. During this journey, I've discovered food which I've never thought I'd be able to taste. I learned to appreciate wine and travel more; now that I have understood the culture of food to society. That was non-existent when I was growing up.

This journey has not ended. I'm still discovering and still learning. It's a tough industry to be in and for what's next or for where I'll finally end up in remain a sordid mystery.

3 thoughts on “Stuffed Pork Stomach ala Spam

  1. I so love your site in fact I bookmarked it lol! I always lurk here but shame on me it is my first time to read your profile, no wonder you cook great food you have studied culinary arts, hinde na ako magtataka pa. ^_^ Thanks for sharing and the visit too.
    Kim,USA recently posted Summer squash & Zucchini

  2. I’ve seen pork stomach at the Korean grocery store but didn’t know what to do with it. Now I know and I’m intrigued. I have to try this and probably will deep fry the whole thing. Thanks for the recipe.:)

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