Pork Menudo is a traditional stew made with pork, liver, potato, carrots, green and red bell pepper in tomato based sauce.
This dish has many version depending on the region. This recipe uses other ingredients like hotdog, raisins and garbanzos (chickpeas).
I add green peas too but I did not have it on hand.
This dish is simple, easy and delicious and often served in potlucks, gatherings or fiestas.
I don’t remember if I knew how to cook menudo when I was in the Philippines. Whenever I got a letter from my parents, my mom usually has a couple of recipes in it.
She compiled popular easy recipes and gave me and my sibling our own copies. In fact, even relatives and friends benefited from this list. Anytime someone asked for a recipe, she gave them a copy of the list.
I was seriously missing my mom’s cooking and I was forced to learn some of my favorite food and pork menudo was one of those.
Don’t confuse this with Mexican menudo, they are totally different. They just share the same name.
They share similar ingredients but they slightly differ in taste.
My mom is a very picky eater and liver is one of those that she doesn’t eat. I am her mini me, I pick all the liver and put it on one side of my plate.
Although, I don't eat it I still add it when making this stew as it adds a rich flavor to the dish.
Tips in Making Pork Menudo
As I have said earlier, there are many variations of this dish and this is our version.
(1) Slice pork and liver in cubes. My mom adds a pinch of salt to liver, I don’t. In a bowl, combine both pork and liver and mash it together with your hands for about 2 minutes.
Mashing it together will render a richer flavorful sauce.
(2) My mom uses fresh tomatoes and finely chopped until it releases its juice. She remove the seeds but I don’t. Then transfer chopped tomatoes and juice in a bowl. If you find this to be too much work, you can use tomato sauce.
Try it though with fresh tomatoes, nothing beats when using fresh ingredients.
(3) Pan fry these ingredients separately: potatoes, carrots and bell pepper. This process will keep these vegetable crisp and not soggy. The bell peppers will have a crunch to it.
Again, for some people this is extra work. The easier way to do it is add the potatoes and carrots while pork is braised. Then add the bell pepper last.
(4) My mom does not add raisins but if I have it on hand, I do. So it’s up to your preference. It is optional.
(5) Lastly, if you DON’T LIKE LIVER, you can omit it. So it’s more like making afritada. But if you like to make an authentic pork menudo, I suggest to add liver. Similar to what I do, I pick all the liver and put it on one side of my plate.
What Pork to Use?
I prefer to use pork with some fat. Trim most of the fat and leave a little bit. Don’t use pork chop. This pork menudo recipe is tastier if using any of this cut. It is moist and tender when cooked.
(1) Pork Shoulder
(2) Pork Butt
(3) Country Style Ribs – This cut is available here in the US. They are big chunks of pork without bones.
Try our version of Pork Menudo Recipe
And you might like it.
Pork Menudo Recipe
- 2 pounds pork cubed (pork shoulder, pork butt or country style ribs)
- ½ pound liver (pig liver) cubed
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 2 large tomato finely chopped
- 2 large potato diced
- 1 medium carrot diced
- 1 small green bell pepper deseeded and diced
- 1 small red bell pepper deseeded and diced
- 3 hotdogs sliced diagonally
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 cup garbanzos drain liquid
- 1 teaspoon annatto powder (achuete)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- fish sauce or salt to taste
- ground pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- In a bowl, combine pork and liver. Mash with your hands for 2 minutes. Set aside.
- In a non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
- Fry potatoes and carrots separately until almost cook. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Fry green and red bell pepper for a minute. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Fry hotdog for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- On the same skillet, saute onion until soft.
- Add garlic. Cook until golden.
- Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Lower heat between medium low and cover skillet with lid.
- Mash tomatoes with kitchen utensil.
- Stir-in annatto powder and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce.
- Toss-in pork and liver. Cover and cook until it releases its juice. Add water and simmer for about 40 minutes or until pork is cooked.
- Season with salt or fish sauce and ground pepper.
- Toss-in hotdog, potatoes, carrots, garbanzos and raisins. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir-in red and green pepper. Turn off heat after a minute.
- Serve hot with white rice. Enjoy!
- Easier Way: Skip frying potatoes, carrots, hotdogs, green and red pepper. Follow the steps of sauteing the onion, garlic, tomatoes, then after about 30 minutes of cooking pork and liver add the potatoes, carrots and hotdogs. Meat and vegetables will cook at the same time. Then add the garbanzos, raisins, green and bell pepper and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Potatoes, carrots, green and red pepper are crisp when pan fried instead of adding it to cook with the pork but it is up to your preference. It is still decadent even done the easier way.
- If using roma tomatoes, use 4 large ones. To me, the more tomatoes the better and finely chopped.
- You can add ½ cup frozen green peas at the same time you add the bell pepper.
- Add another ½ cup water if you want more sauce. Do this while cooking pork and liver.