What better way to learn how pork giniling is done than to learn it straight from a Filipino?
Growing up, this dish has been a staple food at home. It was an easy favorite of families and friends and has always been best enjoyed with rice.
Giniling means ground meat. There are a number of ways to enjoy giniling. But in the Philippines, if you say ‘pork giniling’, it’s specifically this recipe we’re about to share with you.
This dish is done differently in every home. Some have it with tomato paste and some don’t. Having the option to have it with or without tomato paste is great because it is simply a question of whether you want that added tangy taste or not. Others have them with green peas and you won’t even guess what else – raisins! I still am personally not a fan of raisins but that shouldn’t stop you from adding them onto yours.
That’s what we love about this dish. It’s all about preferences and eitherway you’ll enjoy it just the same.
Staple ingredients are without a doubt your ground pork, potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic. Then again, take out one or replace it with something else you want to try out, it’s a very versatile dish you can easily whip up.
Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll be needing:
- 1 to 2 tbsp of Cooking oil
- 1/2 kg Giniling or ground meat (we prefer ground pork or ground chicken because grease easily builds up when you decide to use beef) (there’s a hack when using beef and we’d love to share that with you too!)
- 3 to 4 medium-sized potatoes (diced into about 1.5cm cubes)
- 2 carrots (diced into about 1.5cm cubes)
- 1 red or green bell pepper
- 2 medium-sized onions (diced)
- 2 bulbs of garlic (minced)
- 3 pork cubes (we love Knorr) (you may opt to use pork stock or salt)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper powder (freshly ground is always best if that’s what you have)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
How to make this hearty meal
If you are like me, I like to prep and cook simultaneously. This means as you are cooking some of the ingredients, you have time to work on whatever should come next. This technique is perfect for all those who have a lot on their plate - if you know what I mean.
In a heated pan, add oil, carrots and potatoes. Doing this allows them enough time to soften as you dice and mince your other ingredients. Your carrots and potatoes should cook in about 6 to 8 minutes.
Once they’ve softened up enough that a fork can easily pierce through, you may now add in your onions and red bell peppers.
Make sure you are stirring them from time to time to make sure none of these stick onto your pan.
How you cook your onions will always greatly affect how your dish would taste. For this recipe, I personally like my onions caramelised a bit and my bell peppers not so crunchy. Meaning you have to let these cook over low to slightly medium heat. Doing so allows a good balance for the bell pepper’s sweetness and sharp taste.
Once they are close to how you ideally want them, you can now add in the star of the show - your pork giniling. Now let this cook over relatively high heat and soon as it turns from pink to light brown,
you can finally add in your minced garlic. Mix well.
I love adding garlic close to the end because it means the taste is not far from raw and would still be as pungent as I want it to be. This adds a special kind of spice - a subtle good kick in every bite.
Mix again and let it sit until meat is well cooked. By this time your home should be smelling so good with all the spices.
We’re not done yet! Last to add in are your pork cubes, black pepper, and dried oregano.
Freshly crushed pepper is always best but whatever’s available is always what will work. You can explore and add other spices like chilli powder, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, and so on. Please don’t forget to taste as you go! Add seasoning and spices gradually until you arrive at your desired flavor.
Dried oregano on the other hand is not really necessary, it’s also just been a staple here at our home. Best used for savory dishes, oregano has been known to pack a punch if used fresh. But should you use dried oregano just like with this recipe, to release more flavor, you can simply crush them before adding onto your dish.
And voila! Just mix a little more & make sure all your pork cubes have dissolved and married into all the other ingredients well.
This pork giniling is best served with rice.
Or it could also be used as empanada fillings! Just make sure to drain all that fat really well before folding them into your dough. But that’s obviously for another recipe to share.
Take this to your next gathering and I promise you it’s a sure winner. Let us know how you made yours!