Latin Lasagna with Beef and Plantains

Latin Lasagna with Beef and Plantains from the free Paleo Plate app

Ingredients:

• 1 sweet onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
• 1 pound ground beef (grass-fed)
• ½ pound ground pork
• 16-ounces diced tomatoes (with juice)
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• ¼ cup (60ml) raisins
• 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked, hot paprika
• ¼ teaspoon ground coriander (cilantro)
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 4 ripe plantains (black-skinned, or heavily spotted)
• coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil (to saute plantains)
• 2 eggs
• 3 tablespoons water
• approx 12 ounces pepper Jack cheese, shredded
• Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving

Instructions:

Preparing beef:

1. Heat coconut oil (or EVOO) in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and red bell peppers (capsicum); cook until softened, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute or until garlic is fragrant.  Add beef and pork.  Cook until browned, stirring and breaking up clumps.  Drain off all but 2-3 tablespoons of fat, if necessary (will depend on fattiness of beef and pork used).

2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, raisins, vinegar, oregano, cumin, paprika, coriander (cilantro), salt, and pepper.  Simmer for around 15 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; adjust seasonings to taste.  The meat mixture should be moist and a little saucy.  If it seems too dry, stir in some water or broth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Preparing plantains:

1. Peel plantains.

2. Slice in half, crosswise, then slice each half lengthwise into 3 long slices.  In a large skillet, heat ~¼ cup (60ml) coconut oil (or EVOO) over medium high heat.  Saute the plantain slices in batches until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side.  Add additional oil, if needed.  Transfer the cooked plantain slices to drain on paper towels.

Assembling the casserole:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)  Lightly oil a lasagna pan or large casserole dish.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and water until blended.

3. Place about 1/3 of the meat mixture in the bottom of the pan as a base.  Top with half of the plantain slices, and then about half the shredded cheese.  Add a good layer of meat (about ½ of what is remaining). Pour half the egg mixture into the pan, spreading it out over the ingredients.  Layer with the remaining plantains, meat, and cheese.  Pour the remaining egg mixture over the top of the casserole – spreading it out to distribute evenly.

4. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F (180°C) until hot throughout and bubbly (about 45 minutes).  Remove foil, and bake for around 10 more minutes to brown the cheese on top.  Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro.

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