In keeping up with the Halloween preparations and festivities, there is no better time to post a recipe of Philippines’ ever famous “dinuguan” or pork blood stew. Dinuguan is derived from the Tagalog word “dugo” meaning blood. It is a stew of blood and meat simmered in pork blood, garlic, onions, vinegar and chili. I know some of you who may not be familiar with the dish is cringing now just by the sound of simmered pork blood. It may not sound or look so appetizing but don’t let it deceive you. This dish is so flavorful and savory that most Filipino households serve it in special occasions or gatherings.
Not just blood (wait til you read this…)
Traditionally, dinuguan is cooked using a combination of pork meat and innards like kidneys, lungs, intestines, ears, heart or snout. (Yeah, I know that for those who are still cringing, this does not help much). But this dinuguan recipe I am sharing is a family recipe that makes use of pork meat only. Not because we do not enjoy the traditional dinuguan but I am guessing that it has been tweaked to give consideration to some members of the family who may be suffering from high blood pressure. So for those of you who are healthy enough to enjoy the pork innards, feel free to add it to the pork meat in this recipe.
Just like the Filipino adobo, dinuguan is cooked in different versions depending on one’s preference. Some like it peppery, some vinegary and some even add sugar to their recipes. As far as consistency, some may prefer a thin sauce and others, including me, prefer a thick, chocolate like consistency. This recipe is slightly vinegary and has a thick consistency. You can always change up the proportions of the vinegar and the blood to change the taste and consistency of the dish. Note though that the more blood you add to the dish, the thicker the sauce becomes. Pork blood is available in Asian supermarkets either fresh or frozen.
Since dinuguan is simmered in vinegar, it is one of those dishes that holds up well. Vinegar is a great ingredient that preserves food and prevents spoilage. So if you have any left over, you can always store it in the fridge and enjoy it after a day or two.
Here goes my family’s recipe of Dinuguan..
- 4 lbs pork butt, cut into cubes
- 1 cup pork blood
- 1 whole garlic, minced
- 1 whole onion, minced
- 1 ½ cups vinegar
- ½ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 2 tsps ground black pepper
- 2 pcs bay leaf
- 3 pieces filipino chili
- warm water (as needed)
- Cooking Instructions:
- In a medium size casserole, heat oil. Saute garlic and onion. Let it cook for 2 minutes. Add fish sauce and let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Add the pork and stir well until garlic and onion is evenly distributed. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add ground pepper and bay leaves. Stir well. Cover pot and simmer in medium heat until pork is tender. Pork will render oil and water but remember to constantly check if water has dried up. Add warm water as needed to prevent the pork from drying or burning.
- Once pork is tender, add the vinegar. Caution: Do not stir until vinegar comes to a boil. Once the vinegar comes to a full boil, stir the mixture. Let it boil for another 2 minutes.
- Pour the pork blood while constantly stirring to avoid the blood from clumping. Let it boil for 5 minutes. Then add the filipino chili.
- Serve with puto (rice cake) or steamed rice.
Stop cringing and give this recipe a try! This will be a great addition to your Halloween menu! Let us know if this spooked your guests or if you have converted them to love the dish..