Pork hardinera is a popular Lucban fiesta favourite and this recipe will teach you how to make it in your home. No need to wait for Pahiyas Festival to experience Lucban’s famous hardinera! Feast your appetite with this colourful and flavourful dish. With the right dedication and effort, this extraordinary dish will be super worth spending some time in the kitchen. This is the sign to try your first hardinera dish today!
Hardinera, or Jardinera, is a famous Lucban delicacy which has different versions around the country. It is a loaf of chunky meat which has the right level contrasting savoury and sweet festival of flavors and colors from the various ingredients that makes this dish. Hardinera is commonly interchanged with embutido primarily because both are types of meatloaf. Hardinera is also known as a “grocery meatloaf”. The ingredients used are similar to those of menudo and are easily sourced in the supermarket or local palengke.
Here is a quick guide on the difference between hardinera and embutido for those who are not so familiar.
- Hardinera is made of chunks of small pork which is precooked before steaming while embutido uses ground meat, usually pork and is steamed raw.
- Hardinera is placed in llanera moulders while embutido are rolled into logs wrapped in aluminum foil.
- Other ingredients in embutido are incorporated in the meat while the hardinera ingredients are layered and arranged in a llanera in a graceful manner that will give it a colourful appearance which is more appetizing to the eyes.
Hardinera is a staple dish during the Pahiyas Festival. People from the Quezon province have their own special versions of this dish. Preparing this dish may be tedious for some. This is why hardinera is only usually served during fiestas, holidays and special occasions. But if you can spend a lot of time in the kitchen, hardinera makes a good lunch or dinner ulam.
Everlasting dish is Marikina’s version of Lucban’s hardinera. Instead of small cut of pork, it uses ground pork but is cooked Hardinera-style. If there’s something in between hardinera and embutido, that would be the everlasting.
If you are interested in preparing hardinera for your next occasion, I have here an authentic recipe I learned from a friend. Have fun in making this recipe and let me know how it goes!
HOW TO COOK HARDINERA
Just like what I stated previously, cooking a hardinera dish might take a lot of time and effort. It may take you 2 to 3 hours of preparation and cooking time but the results are definitely irresistible. For an overview of what we are going to do, we will first prepare the pork, arrange the hardinera in a llanera and lastly, steaming it to cook fully.
The choice of meat results in a very different texture while eating. It is recommended to use lean meat for this dish. To start, you need to make the pork tender by simmering it a mixture of garlic, onion, banana ketchup, tomato paste and water. This flavorful broth will also be added to the hardinera mixture later. Next, cut the pork into small chunks. Be cautious not to make it too small or too large. If you want a visual reference, you can watch our cooking video just to be sure. Sauté the pork cubes with the other ingredients. After this step, the hardinera mixture will look like a less saucy menudo. Sauté it nicely so that the ingredients and its flavors are well-distributed.
While you wait for the sauce to reduce, you can start preparing the banana leaves. We will use it as a liner to prevent the cooked hardinera from sticking to the llanera. It will also add certain aroma and flavor to the top of the hardinera. Pass the banana leaves quickly over the flame to become pliable, cut into appropriate shape and then brush it with some softened butter.
The next step is arranging the hardinera into the llanera. To give it a colourful top, place a halved boiled egg in the middle. On the side, add some bell pepper strips. You may use both green and red bell peppers for more color. The next thing to do is to add a layer of beaten egg. The raw beaten egg will be the binder that will hold the cooked hardinera intact for later. Before you add the hardinera mixture, make sure that it has cooled down to room temperature to not cook the egg binder. After filling the llanera with hardinera mixture, add another layer of beaten egg on top.
The last thing to do is steaming. Make sure to cover your llaneras with aluminum foil to prevent water drippings and to trap the heat inside for faster cooking. Some people want their hardinera straight out of the steamer. I like to chill it a bit before serving. Flip the llaneras to a plate and then remove the banana leaf liner. Enjoy this wonderful dish with a lot of hot steaming rice!
HardineraCourse: Pork Recipes
1 kilo pork (cut into 3 parts)
1 cup banana ketchup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup raisins
1 cup pineapple tidbits
½ cup cheese (cut into small cubes)
5 pieces bell peppers (cut into strips and cubes)
1 medium-sized onion (sliced)
6 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 eggs (hard-boiled)
1 cup luncheon meat (cut into cubes)
½ cup cheese (grated)
fish sauce to taste
banana leaves (for container lining)
softened butter (for brushing)
- In a pot, place the pork cuts, garlic, onion, ½ cup banana ketchup, 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 3 to 4 cups of water. Cover the pan and let it cook for 1 to 1 ½ hour or until the pork is tender.
- When the pork is tender, turn the heat off and separate the meat from the broth. Reserve the broth. Cut the pork into cubes.
- For the hardinera mixture, heat some oil in a pan. Sauté the onion and garlic for a minute. Add ½ cup banana, 1 tablespoon tomato paste and sauté until well-combined.
- Add the cubed pork and gently toss until well-coated with the sauce. Add a cup of the reserved broth. Stir gently until the meat is submerged.
- Add the pineapple tidbits, raisins, luncheon meat and grated cheese. Stir gently until well-combined. Season with salt. Continue cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add 2 chopped bell peppers and toss. Turn the fire off.
- Prepare the banana leaves and quickly pass through the flame to become soft and pliable. Cut the banana leaves into oval (llanera) shape. Layer your llaneras with banana leaves and brush them with softened butter.
- Arrange a half of hard-boiled egg and the bell pepper strips to each container. Crack and beat an egg into a small bowl. Pour half of the beaten egg to the llanera. Fill the rest of the llanera with the hardinera mixture. Pour the remaining half of the beaten egg at the top of the llanera. Cover the llaneras using aluminum foil. Repeat these steps with the rest of the llaneras.
- Arrange the hardinera in a steamer. Steam for 40 minutes up to 1 hour.
- Remove the hardinera from the steamer and let it cool a bit. Refrigerate the hardinera until cool.
- Remove the aluminum foil and flip the hardinera into a plate. Remove the banana leaves before serving. Drizzle with some ketchup and enjoy with hot steaming rice!
Hardinera Recipe (TAGALOG)
- 1 kilo ng baboy (hiniwa sa 3 piraso)
- 1 tasa ng banana ketchup
- 2 kutsara ng tomato paste
- ½ tasa ng raisins
- 1 tasa ng pineapple tidbits
- ½ tasa ng cheese (hiniwa ng cubes)
- 5 piraso ng bell peppers (hiniwa ng strips at cubes)
- 1 sibuyas (hiniwa)
- 6 butil ng bawang (hiniwa ng maliliit)
- 3 itlog (nilaga)
- 1 tasa ng luncheon meat (hiniwa ng cubes)
- ½ tasa ng cheese (grated)
- dahon ng saging (panlagay sa containers)
- pinalambot na butter (pang-brush)
- Ilagay ang baboy, bawang, sibuyas, ½ tasa ng banana ketchup, 1 kutsara ng tomato paste at 3-4 tasa ng tubig sa isang kaldero. Takpan ito at hayaang maluto ng 1 hanggang 1 ½ oras hanggang lumambot ang baboy.
- Kapag malambot na ang baboy, patayin ang apoy at ihiwalay ang karne sa sabaw. Isantabi ang sabaw. Hiwain ang baboy sa maliliit na cubes.
- Para sa hardinera mixture, magpainit ng mantika at igisa ang sibuyas at bawang. Ilagay ang ½ tasa ng banana ketchup at 1 kutsara ng tomato paste at igisa ng ilang minuto.
- Ilagay ang baboy at dahan dahang haluin hanggang mabalutan ng sauce. Maglagay ng isang tasa ng sabaw. Haluin ng mabuti.
- Ilagay ang pineapple tidbits, raisins, luncheon meat at grated cheese. Haluin ng mabuti. Budburan ng asin. Hayaan itong maluto hanggang halos maiga na ang sauce.
- Ilagay ang bell peppers at haluin. Patayin ang apoy.
- Ihanda ang banana leaves at padaanin sa apoy para maging malambot. Gupitin ang dahon ng oval (llanera) shape. I-layer ng dahon ang mga llanera at i-brush ng pinalambot na butter.
- I-arrange ang kalahati ng nilagang itlog at bell pepper sa bawat llanera. Magbati ng itlog at ilagay ang kalahati nito at punuin ng hardinera mixture ang llanera. Ilagay ang kalahati ng binating itlog at takpan ang llanera ng aluminum foil. Gawin ang mga steps na ito sa iba pang ingredients.
- I-arrange ang hardiner sa isang steamer. I-steam ang mga ito ng 40 minuto hanggang 1 oras.
- Alisin ang hardinera sa steamer. Ilagay ang mga ito sa ref para lumamig.
- Alisin ang aluminum foil at baliktarin ang hardinera sa isang plato. Alisin ang dahon ng saging bago ihain. Lagyan ng ketchup at kainin kasama ng mainit na kanin. Enjoy!