Menudo is a traditional stew from the Philippines that's a favorite "comfort food" for most families. Traditionally it's usually made with pork belly or pork shoulder, but this recipe uses either pork or beef ribs for a tastier flavor base. And it omits pork liver (that's traditional in most Menudo recipes), but the ribs add a lot of flavor to the stew. And it uses ketchup instead of tomato sauce because ketchup is a little sweeter and enhances the stew better than tomato sauce.
Menudo is usually served over a bed of cooked white rice.
1Place the pork cubes in a large pan or Dutch oven and let it cook in medium heat until it changes its color. No need for any oil as the meat will release some of its fat in the process. Add the garlic and onions and sauté. Season with a little salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the pork has browned (but not fried all the way) and the onions have softened.
2Add the tomatoes and fish sauce and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer on low until the pork is tender.
3When the pork is tender, add the water, potatoes and carrots. Cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the sweet peppers, raisins and the ketchup. Cook for another 5 minutes or just until the raisins are re-hydrated and the sauce is fully heated through.
4Adjust the seasoning to your taste. If it's a little tart, sprinkle some brown sugar to balance the taste. Don't make it too sweet as you have raisins to balance the sour and savory flavor of the other ingredients. It should just be a perfect balance of sweet, tart and salty! Have it with rice, of course!