"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Lukban Hardinera

Please welcome Jun Avila as my guest blogger for this post...Everything below is his own words...I got his permission to share this recipe. While I am too busy at the moment, I figure I'd post recipes shared by my online friends (with their permission, of course!) and probably blog about some gadgets of mine.  Bookmark it for your next handaan with your Pinoy friends because this one sure sounds like a winner!

WHILE most meat loaves have ground meat as base, there’s a kind of meat loaf in Lucban that instead uses diced pork. Called hardinera, it’s unique in other ways as well. For one thing, it’s cooked in a llanera, an oval pan commonly used for leche flan. For another, it is not baked in an oven, like most meat loaves, but is instead steamed.

What also makes it different is the garnishing of hard-boiled eggs, bell pepper strips and pineapple slices that go into the bottom of the pan. When inverted onto a serving platter, these garnishings form a colorful topping. The beaten raw eggs poured into the llanera form a coating that gives the hardinera the look of an aspic.


¼ c cooking oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 kilo pork kasim, diced into cubes
(See tips.)
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1-2 c pork broth (See tips.)
1 c tomato sauce
1 c finely diced sweet mixed pickles or pickle relish
½ c diced frankfurters
1/3 c raisins
1 c canned pineapple tidbits, well drained
1 small can red pimiento, drained and diced
1 85-g can liver spread (1/3 c)
½ c grated Cheddar cheese
1 c bread crumbs
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
3-4 canned pineapple slices, each cut into 3-4 pieces
1 small green bell pepper, cut into fine strips
1 small red bell pepper, cut into fine strips
3 uncooked eggs

Grease 3-4 small llaneras and line with banana leaves or with nonstick baking paper. Set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan and sauté onions and garlic about one minute (do not let garlic burn).

Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil and add pork. Season with salt and pepper and stir-cook pork until brown.

Pour in pork broth and tomato sauce and simmer until pork is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, mix together pickles, frankfurters, raisins, pineapple tidbits, red pimiento, liver spread, cheddar cheese and bread crumbs. Add the cooked pork. Do not include the sauce in which it was cooked. (See tips.) Mix until well combined.

Arrange slices of hard-boiled eggs, pineapple, and green and red pepper strips on the bottom of the prepared llaneras. Beat the 3 eggs and pour into llaneras, dividing equally. Spoon the pork mixture equally among the llaneras, pressing top to smoothen.

Cover tops of llaneras with foil and steam in a large steamer for about 45 minutes or until firm. If the four llaneras do not fit into the steamer, cook them in batches (two at a time).

To serve: Run a spatula or the dull edge of a knife along the sides of llaneras to loosen the jardinera. Invert onto a serving platter and tap llaneras lightly to release the jardinera. Remove llaneras and peel off banana leaves or baking paper before serving.


Llaneras are small, oval-shaped aluminum pans often used for making leche flan. This recipe makes enough to fill four small llaneras.

If llaneras are not available, you can use loaf pans. The recipe can probably fill two loaf pans.

The pork should be diced into pieces slightly smaller than that used for menudo.

To make pork broth: boil one pork broth cube (or one pork bouillon cube) in 2 c water until cube dissolves. Use as per direction above.

Instead of pork broth, you can use plain water.

If desired, use the broth and the tomato sauce in which the pork was tenderized as sauce: Simmer in a small saucepan. Dissolve 1 tbsp cornstarch in ¼ c water and pour into sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper and liquid seasoning. Simmer until slightly thick. Add one to 2 tbsp butter and heat until butter dissolves. Serve with the hardinera.

Drain the canned pineapple tidbits and the canned pineapple slices very well so mixture doesn’t become soggy.

Thanks for sharing this recipe, Jun!


  1. Interesting! Might try it one day!

  2. sharon,
    it is indeed interesting! I will definitely try it maybe around summer time.

  3. Hi! What could be a great sauce for this recipe? Or is it tasty as is? Thanks!


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