While reading The Week, we came across a description of plantanos con carne, the main attraction at Angel’s Cabana, a food truck in Portland, OR:
…plantanos con carne resembles “a meaty banana split.” Villalvir grills and halves the plantains; tops them with beans; throws on some ground beef cooked with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and celery; and then finishes the dish with a dollop of fresh crema…
Immediate reaction: need. this. now. Armed with plantains and ground beef, I went in search of some spice combinations that might help recreate this drool-inducing concoction. In the process, I stumbled across PaleOMG’s mango and plantain beef recipe. Plantains and beef? Check. Spicy? Check. Mango!? Bonus. I made a few modifications but otherwise followed directions exactly
- Used ground beef instead of steak. Browned it first, then drained most of grease from pan before starting to cook onions.
- Used caution with the 1 t. ground red pepper (read: cayenne). In the end, I probably put in about 3/4 t. and it was plenty spicy but not overwhelmingly so.
- Didn’t bother with smashing the plantains and just cooked them unsmashed.
The verdict? Fan-freaking-tastic. It is food like this that makes Michael start asking about the logistics of starting our own food truck and dominating a small corner of the Charlottesville farmer’s market. It seems like it would make great leftovers, but we ate it all and practically licked the pot clean. Next time it’s a double (or triple) batch!