Nilagang Pasko is said to be a dish that is the result of combining the meat leftovers from Noche Buena. That’s why it’s got, not one, not two, but three kinds of meat in it: pork, chicken, and beef. It was traditionally seasoned with a ham hock, but without this, chorizo or Chinese ham slices can be substituted.
We don’t always have leftover meat so if you too do not have any, this recipe is simply made with meat pieces in smaller portions than a regular meat recipe requires. It is still super hearty and incredibly rich in flavor. The combination of vegetables and meats combine to create a broth that is deliciously flavorful and savory.
If desired, you can mimic the version that is more similar to the pochero than a nilaga. Add saging na saba for sweetness and include green beans and pechay. Instead of using tomato sauce to the soup, which adds a sour taste, you may use atsuete or annatto seeds to give the broth a red-orange hue.
Nilagang Pasko Recipe
Nilagang Pasko Ingredients
- 1/4 Cup cooking oil
- 4 pieces Chorizo de Bilbao cut diagonally in half
- 2 stalks Leeks cut into 2 inch lengths, white and green parts separated
- 1 medium red onion peeled, quartered
- 1/3 kilo beef cubes mechado cut
- 1/2 liters water or as needed
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (patis) or to taste, more to serve
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 4 slices pork pata
- 4 pieces chicken parts breast cut in half and 2 chicken legs
- 2 medium Potatoes peeled, quartered
- 2 pieces corn cut into 4 each
- 1 Small cabbage cut into 8 wedges
- 1 Small Chinese napa cabbage quartered
- steamed rice for serving
- siling labuyo for serving
- calamansi for serving
- Heat oil in a large pressure cooker over medium heat. Add chorizo and any chorizo fat to the pot and saute until the oil colors. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add onion and white parts of the leeks to the remaining oil, and stir to lightly sauté. Add beef chunks, water, patis, and peppercorns. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Remove any scum that rises to the surface. Cover and lock lid, lowering the heat to Low. Simmer for 30 minutes. (Alternatively, simmer for about 1 hour in a covered pot.)
- Release the pressure, unlock the lid, then add the pork pata pieces. Bring back to a boil, removing scum as it rises to the surface. Once clear, lock the lid, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until both the pork and the beef are tender. Release the pressure. (Alternatively, simmer for about 1 hour in a covered pot.)
- Once both pork and beef are tender, add the chicken, corn cobs, and the potatoes. Simmer again, removing scum that rises again, until the chicken pieces are cooked through and potatoes and corn are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add cabbage, Chinese napa cabbage, and green parts of the leeks. Return chorizo back into the pot. Cook until the cabbage pieces are just tender. Serve with steamed rice, more patis, calamansi, and siling labuyo on the side.