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Miriams Morcon, DC-style

Evelyn's Kitchen By Evelyn S. BunoanBy Evelyn S. Bunoan
For our Holiday offering, I have asked my good friend, Attorney Miriam Riedmiller, if I can again publish her recipe that she did for our Christmas, 2007 presentation in Evelyns Kitchen Cooking With Friends. With her permission, I am publishing her email response in its entirety.

Dear Evelyn and Oscar,

My Mom, Aveling Bustamante and I, thank you for having us (for the second year) at your Evelyns Kitchen Christmas edition last December 8, 2007. It was delightful to be with you and your lovely friends, at the show, dinner and carols. Attached are the photos, taken during the cooking show, and below is the written recipe.

I chose to show the Morcon, being my familys tradition for Christmas celebrations in the Philippines. My grandmother Olivas original recipe was scrumptiously rich, but, labor and time consuming. Hence, I made some revisions. As you requested, here is the recipe I made, which I call the Washington D.C. version for its efficient, healthy and traditional notes:

Prime Ingredients
6 pieces of steak, cut thinly (about 3 wide and 6 long, 1/2″ thick)
Marinade: soy sauce, squeezed lemon juice from lemon, salt and pepper to taste; (red wine optional ( Note: The marinade should be just enough to cover the meat);

1 chorizo de bilbao, cut into strips;
3 hardboiled eggs cut lengthwise in several pieces;
green pepper cut into strips;
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into strips;
Quezo de bola (cut into small strips, 1 piece for each steak)

Other ingredients:
1 large can stewed tomatoes; Olive oil for sauting and tooth picks for securing steaks in place

1. In a glass dish, lay the steaks flat, season and marinade with the liquid ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. After several hours, make the morcon log by taking a steak and laying it flat on a cutting board. Begin with the imperfect edge. Take an egg and fold it into the steak, and roll it. Then, repeat the process, using each filling ingredient until the steak is completely rolled. Secure it with a tooth pick. Repeat the process for every steak and reserve the marinade.
2. Heat a skillet and pour just enough amount of olive oil to cover it. Once heated, carefully add the steak logs to brown each side, using a spatula; then, add the stewed tomatoes, and let it simmer, making sure that the steaks dont burn. You may add the juice from the canned tomatoes, and any excess filling.
3. Stick a fork into the steak to test for tenderness. The cooking time depends on the cut of the steak, and preparers preference for the steak (well done, medium or rare)
Serving Suggestions:
When the steak has cooled off, you may take off the tooth picks and cut the logs into pin wheels. The Morcon is best served with rice, drizzled with the sauce from the skillet.

The Morcon is an old Filipino favorite, obviously inspired by the Spanish colonizers . In my Grandmother Olivas kitchen (from the mother side), the Morcon was made with chuck and similar good cut of beef. It was cooked for long periods for tenderness. That version called for strips of pork fat and liver for additional filling. I have omitted these two ingredients for a healthier version. (Copyright, 2007).

I hope that you and your T.V. audience at Channel 58, and your column readers at the Manila Mail will enjoy my Morcon recipe for its simplicity and the savory goodness. I call it Morcon, Washington ,D.C. version, inspired by Pres. Kennedys witticism in noting D.C.s northern hospitality and southern efficiency, in a spirit of banter. As a busy Washingtonian, I reinvented the Morcon recipe for my family, preserving the spirit of Philippine hospitality in using excellent ingredients while devising time-saving measures to cope with a hectic work life in the City. Thanks again for inviting us to your celebratory kitchen. Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year to you, your family, friends, and cooking fans.
Miriam Bustamante Riedmiller, Esquire
100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. Awardee, (Policy Makers and Visionaries), FWN, 2007

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