Galantina: a Family Tradition

It is a tradition in our family to always have galantina as one of the dishes prepared during the Christmas Season. Apparently, the recipe came from my paternal grandfather’s family and has been passed down the family line. Currently, my aunt, the eldest, is the one preparing it. And as for me, the eldest in my generation, will be contributing to the family tradition by …recording the recipe for posterity(=`〜´=).

The recipe is really simple and involves a lot of …feelings. it makes sense in context.

The ingredients for the base are sa follows:

● Ground pork (2.5 – 3 kg)
● ham or scrappped ham (1 kg)
● chorizo bilbao ( 2 cans)
● Frankfurter ( hot dogs can be used as substitute)
● grated cheese
● sausages (or luncheon meat to sub)
● raisins
● boiled gisantes (green peas)

The meat are ground and mixed together with raisins, green peas and grated cheese. Salt, ground pepper and vetsin (MSG) are added together with seasonings (commercial seasonings). Although the latter are optional. In my grandfather’s time, they only add salt and pepper. Eggs are added to bind all ingredients together, like some sort of culinary glue. The exact amount of eggs and seasoning (and cheese) is based on your feelings taste buds. As a hint (since its not advisable to taste the concoction raw), a small portion is fried (like a burger patty) so you will know whether you need to add more salt or eggs. The eggs keep all the ground meat together while the cheese and raisins contribute to the taste and texture. The cheese adds a creamy texture but also contributes to the salty taste while the raisins adds a sweet fruity flavor to the dish. To give you an idea on how much of each are needed, we used about 14-17 medium-sized eggs (the exact number is forgotten due to adjustments done, but we usually start with 9 then add more eggs as needed). As for the cheese, about half of a small queso de bola was grated and used. Queso de bola was the recommended cheese to use but processed cheese works just fine. As for the raisins, it really depends on your preference. Some like it sweet while others don’t so just bear in mind the  preference of those who will eat to determine the amount. Also, a word of caution. When buying the scrapped ham, make sure whether the ham you are buying is sweet or not. It affects the taste. We do not use sweet ham to ours because it sweetens the galantina a bit too much.

When you are satisfied with the taste and texture, wrap the mixture in a pig’s panyo. The panyo is a local term for what I suspect to be the pig’s peritonial membrane lining the abdominal cavity. Its a transluscent connective tissue with bits of white fat-like tissues attached. It is quite delicate and prone to tearing when you wrap it around the mixture, so care is needed. Finally, you wrap it in aluminum foil and steam it until cooked.  Don’t know about the others but we serve it cold.

That’s it for our family’s version of galantina. I hope the future generation will still maintain the family tradition. I do hope one of my sisters or cousins learn how to prepare it, considering my talent in that area.

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