There is a small Chinese restaurant along Banawe Street in Quezon City where the meat rolls were so good and, where we were still living in the city, the girls asked for them again and again. The restaurant, Monte Villa, is still there but after moving to the suburb, I can’t remember when we last enjoyed those meat rolls. They sell like hotcakes literally and if you go to Monte Villa in the afternoon, chances are all the meat rolls would have been sold hours ago.
I was thinking of those meat rolls when I decided to bake some bread last night. Filled with minced sweet pork, I packed some for the girls to bring to the condo. I was thinking that the meat rolls would make a filling, tasty, and easy-to-reheat breakfast. About 3 cups of cooked minced meat like adobo, menudo, or asado. Note that the filling should have a little sauce but just enough to moisten the meat.
Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add half of the mixture to the yeast. Pour in the vegetable oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until the texture appears even. The dough will be very sticky at this point. Add the rest of the flour. Stir until the dough just comes together then dump onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes or until elastic and no longer sticky. Don’t be tempted to keep dusting the work surface with flour thinking that more flour will get the dough to the non-sticky stage. More flour and the dough will turn stiffer. Just keep kneading and you’ll get to the desired stage.
Gather the dough into a ball. Lightly brush a large bowl with vegetable oil. Put the dough in the bowl, turning it every which way so that every part of the surface is coated with oil. Cover the bowl (cling film or a damp towel will do) and leave to rise until double in bulk, about one to three hours depending on the humidity.
When the dough has risen sufficiently, punch down then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for a couple of minutes then roll into a log about three inches in diameter. Cut into two equal portions. Cut each half into halves, and so on, until you have 16 pieces. Take a piece of dough, and flatten it to form a thin disc. Place the disc on your palm and place about two tablespoonfuls of filling at the center. Gather the edges, like pleating, until the top is closed. Place seam side down on a baking tray. Repeat for the rest of the dough. Leave to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.