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Plantain & Veal Casserole

Ripe Plantain Casserole is a staple recipe in Dominican Culture, it’s always layered with lean ground meat, so I’ve selected local Ontario ground veal. If you are as fortunate to be invited to a family celebration you may look forward to seeing this delectable casserole on the buffet.
8-10 Servings

3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
8 over-ripe plantains
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
½ cup (125 mL) 35% heavy cream
1 large carrot, diced
½ white onion, diced
1 Cubanelle or Anaheim pepper, diced
1 tbsp (15 mL) garlic, minced
½ cup (125 mL) pimientos, diced
2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
2 lbs local Ontario lean ground veal
½ cup (125 mL) Epis seasoning
¼ cup (60 mL) red wine
1 ½ cup (375 mL) tomato sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano
2 tbsp (30 mL) Island Gurl Seasoned Salt (see recipe)
2 cups (500 mL) shredded mozzarella
2 cups (500 mL) shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tbsp (30 mL) Italian parsley, diced

 

Haitian Epis Seasoning
Yields: 1 cup
1 tbsp (15 mL) garlic, minced
½ cup (125 mL) green bell pepper, diced
½ cup (125 mL) red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup (83 mL) cilantro (stems included)
½ cup (125 mL) green onions
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme leaves, picked
¼ cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar
¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Heat a 6-quart (approx. 6 L) pot halfway filled with water and bring up to a boil.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt, plantains and lower to a simmering boil for about 20 minutes or until plantains are soft enough to mash.

Remove pot from stove, drain and discard the water. Mash the plantains with a potato masher. Add butter, cream and mash until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add onions, pepper, garlic, pimientos and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add tomato paste and cook while stirring for 1 minute.

Add the ground veal to the vegetable mixture and cook while stirring to break up the pieces. Add the Haitian Epis Seasoning, wine and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, oregano, seasoned salt, stir and cover slightly ajar and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the veal is done. Transfer to a colander placed over a bowl to drain any additional grease or liquid, set aside in a bowl.

Add both cheeses to a small bowl with the parsley and mix, set aside.

To assemble the casserole, grease a 13- x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) dish with butter. Using a flat spatula, divide the mashed plantains into 3 parts and spread the first layer to the bottom of the pan, follow with the cheese mixture, then the veal mixture.  Repeat finishing with plantain on top, top with the cheese mixture.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes, serve at once with crusty bread, a side salad.

Source: Chef Raquel Fox (islandgurlfoods.com)

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