It was my privilege to be a part of the Canadian Embassy and Canada Beef’s Christmas campaign.
I prepared Filipino-inspired dishes using ingredients from Canada, particularly beef. Each of the four recipes I created was themed according to Filipino Christmastime traditions.
For Simbang Gabi, I made TapQuiLog—Grilled Maple Marinated Canadian Striploin Beef Tapa with Pickled Eggs, Sinangag na Quinoa with Salted Eggs, and Ensaladang Pako with Maple Dressing.
As we are known to be hearty breakfast eaters, I served the tapa alongside other Pinoy breakfast favorites like longganisa, daing, bagnet chips and a variety of achara. What a feast it was to come home to, after Simbang Gabi!
For the Kris Kringle theme, I prepared a Maple Coullote Beef Jerky with Champoradong Suman, because we love to give away our very own homemade specialties. Growing up, my Lola Luz and my mom always had champorado on our table when the days turned cool. Ours was often served with side helpings of tuyo and beef tapa.
To gift and to transport this cherished Christmas memory isn’t as convenient as turning it into suman and pairing it with homemade beef jerky. Dried tapa was a specialty in our home. We are also lovers of Cow Label. The Maple Beef Jerky is a coming together of both.
Then there’s “noche buena.” Before Midnight Mass, Mom prepared special dishes for us to enjoy. Dinner, I recall, was never a lavish spread, as our “noche buena” staples were still to be enjoyed after Christmas Mass.
One of the dishes we enjoyed was Beef Mechado. Mom liked her meat sliced thin. Lola liked hers chunky. My recipe is a combination of Lola’s, Mom’s and my way of cooking it.
This rendition is made with large chunks of Canadian Chuck Eye Beef that I served with Squash Rice and a side of Arugula, Kale and Salted Egg Ensalada.
Family reunions are so very Filipino. As a people, we find reasons to come together and celebrate just about any occasion, more so during Christmas. That said, Nilagang Pasko makes the perfect dish, a meal in one that is hearty and comforting.
In the olden days, Nilagang Pasko was made with trimmings from the dishes for “noche buena.” It consisted of leftover beef, chicken and pork.
The trimmings are boiled together with potato, cabbage, young corn, leeks and onion. It is seasoned with salt and pepper. The dish is made delicious with the addition of thin slices of Chinese ham or Jamon de Funda (called such as Chinese hams look like pillow cases). My rendition is made with short ribs and purple potatoes from Canada. Instead of cutting them, I left the meats whole, for a more festive feel.
I am sharing the Maple Coullote Beef Jerky with Champoradong Suman and the Nilagang Pasko recipes here. May the dishes warm your heart as much as they do mine. Merry, merry Christmas to you!
Maple Coullote Beef Jerky with Champoradong Suman
½ kg Canadian Coulotte Beef or any lean beef (eye of round, top round, bottom round, etc)
¼ c light soy sauce
1¼ tsp chili flakes
¼ c Tanduay Rhum or brandy
¾ c 100-percent Canadian maple syrup
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp liquid seasoning
⅓ brown sugar
¼ c white sugar
1 Tbsp pounded garlic
2 tsp onion powder
½ tsp curing salt
½ c ice-cold water
Handful of ice cubes
Slice beef into ⅛-inch thick slices and pound.
Add all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, except ice. Add meat. Marinate overnight in the fridge.
Dry with paper towels. Follow dehydrator instructions for jerky.
4 c Thai glutinous rice
4 c coconut milk
1 c water
6 slices ginger, optional
¼ tsp salt
1 pack tablea 266 g plus-minus 2 c white sugar
Young banana leaves, wilted
Soak glutinous rice for 20 minutes. Combine all ingredients in a rice cooker except sugar. When cooked, add sugar.
Wrap in roasted banana leaves.
Tie with string. Steam for 10 minutes. Serve with sauce.
1 c coconut cream cooked with salt
½ c evaporated milk
½ c condensed milk
⅓ c water
¼ c white sugar
2 tsp glutinous rice flour
2 Tbsp butter
Combine ingredients except butter in a saucepan. When thick, finish with butter.
Nilagang Pasko (‘Christmas Boil’)
2 kg Canada short ribs
2 kg liempo, whole, bone in, skin on
1 whole chicken
Boil beef, chicken and pork separately, submerged in water with an onion, a little garlic, peppercorn and salt till tender. Set aside.
¼ c oil
2 onions, sliced
2 Tbsp garlic, pounded
200 g Chinese ham (Majestic), cut into cubes
Ham bone, optional
6 Chinese chorizo (not too sweet variety), halved at a bias
2 leeks, cut in 4-inch pc
2 tsp peppercorn
Cabbage, cut into large chunks
Sweet corn on the cob, cut into 3-inch portions
Canadian purple potatoes, cut into large chunks
In a pot, saute onion and garlic until fragrant. Add Chinese ham and continue to saute while to release flavor. Add Chinese chorizo and brown a bit. Add leeks. Add salt, water and peppercorn. Add boiled meats and stocks. Simmer 20 more minutes. Add vegetables and cook till vegetables are done.
Arrange meats and vegetables on a serving platter. Serve soup on the side with chilies, patis and calamansi.
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