Posted on | August 24, 2011 | 7 Comments
I love this casserole, and I love plantains. I can’t get enough of either of them. If you like Italian Lasagna or Greek Moussaka then you’ll probably love this casserole as well. The plantains add such a distinct sweet flavour to this meat casserole. It’s comfort food as good as it gets.
This recipe is not difficult to prepare but it is quite time consuming but so worth it. It is delicious and addictive.
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 1 lb ground beef
- oil, if necessary
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, chopped
- several garlic cloves, grated
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp cumin
- several tsp oregano, to taste
- salt and pepper
- 4 -5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
- 4 to 5 very ripe (dark brown/black) plantains
- 2 eggs
In a large frying pan, brown the ground beef. If the beef is very lean, you might want to add a little oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When the meat is done, remove it from the frying pan with a slotted spoon. Add the chopped onion and the bell pepper to the frying pan. Cook them until the onions are translucent, and the peppers become soft. Then add the grated garlic and the tomatoes. Also add the paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes.
In a different frying pan, heat some oil. Peel the plantains, and cut them into about 1/2 cm (0.2“) thick slices. Add them to the frying pan. Cook the plantain slices until they’re brown on one side, and then turn them in order to brown the other side. Set aside when done.
Once the tomato mixture becomes saucy, add the cooked meat back to the frying pan. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or so. Season to taste with cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 175°C / 350°F.
Pour about one third of the sauce into a 23×23 cm / 9x9” casserole dish. Use half of the plantain slices as the second layer; next comes another third of the beef- tomato sauce; then the remaining plantain slices topped with the remaining meat sauce. You should have 5 layers of alternating sauce and plantains by now.
In a little bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Pour them over the casserole.
Bake the casserole for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Source: slightly adapted from “The Best Recipes in the World” by Mark Bittman