What do you do when your days are wrought with sadness? You embrace the pain and move ahead. I took solace in cooking Arroz a La Cubana, – Pork and Beef Saute in Potatoes with Plantains.
Our family had its own sets of sadness. We had two deaths in the family within weeks of each other. We said goodbye to my cousin Mel too soon and unexpectedly. This week I said goodbye to my godmother and aunt, Tita Helen. She lived a long, beautiful life. Till the end she was a brave spirit. Sadly, I was not able to say goodbye to both my cousin and aunt whom I hold dearly in my heart. That is the biggest regret we all have. The ‘what if’ moment that we never got to do.
What I know for sure is that both my cousin Mel and my Aunt Helen would have wanted me to move forward, treasure each moment we have to the fullest and continue nurturing and nourishing my family.
Whether it’s just my husband and myself, or our sons come home to visit, the big meal is the brief joyous moment where I find comfort and happiness in being together with the ones who mean the most to me. And for them, I whip up the heartiest, most delectable dish. It doesn’t have to be a tedious recipe. What’s important is that it is a dish loved by all, filled with wholesome flavors of savory and sweetness combined, and one we always associate with love and good times.
Arroz a La Cubana - Pork and Beef Saute with Potatoes in Plantains
- Large Skillet: 12-inches diameter
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 whole large onion chopped fine
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or Perrins
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 whole potatoes peeled, diced about 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 whole ripe plantains peeled; boiled in syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar for syrup of plantains
- 1 cup water for syrup of plantains
- 4 whole eggs cooked sunny side or fried, for serving
- for serving: boiled jasmine white rice
- for serving: tomato or banana catsup
- In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add the cooking oil. When oil is hot enough after about 2 minutes, saute the garlic and onions till the latter is translucent.
- Add the ground beef and pork. Sprinkle the meats with Worcestershire sauce. Blend ingredients well.
- Add the tomato sauce and soup stock to the meat. Add the diced potatoes.Mix till the sauce is incorporated all around. Lower heat to a slow simmer. Let the liquid reduce in the meat and potatoes and cook for about 40 minutes over very low fire.
- Add the raisins. Season with salt and black pepper powder. Serve alongside boiled rice, sweet plantains in syrup and fried eggs.
- How to boil plantains in syrup: Peel the fully ripened plantains and place the whole pieces in a medium-sized stockpot. Add the brown sugar and water. Combine the liquid and sugar well. Over medium heat, cook for 8 to 10 minutes till liquid has a syrup-like consistency and the bananas are soft. When cooked, drain and set aside the syrup. Serve the plantains with the Arroz a la Cubana dish.
- Cook's Comments: For this recipe, make sure plantains are fully ripened, with no hint of green in them. Here in America, banana plantains are found in Asian markets or major supermarkets which have an ethnic section in the produce aisle. In the Philippines, they are called "saging saba" and are shorter in length, with a light brown outer skin. Both varieties are available all year long.
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Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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