First things first – If you LOVE plantains this one is for you! If you DON’T LOVE plantains this one is still for you (you thought I was gonna give up that easy pshh yeah right) – because after trying this recipe, your lack of love for plantain will turn into an abundance of LOVE for plantain.
Can I just put it out there, I LOVE Latin America’s cuisine – it’s so amazing, so flavourful and filling! I think I also love their cuisine because we (Africans) share similar dishes and ingredients, including Plantains which is what this recipe calls for.
Tostones Rellenos is a traditional Puerto Rican/Latin American dish. They are usually made from green plantains, that are fried twice and moulded into a mini cup like shape. This is so it can be filled with all sorts of toppings like Avocados, Shrimps, Shredded Beef or whatever rocks the individuals’ boat. After my extensive Google search on “Different ways to make Plantain” (don’t judge me), I was amazed at how Plantains are made in different cultures. I don’t want to speak for the whole of the Nigerian Community, but when it comes to plantains we usually grill, boil or fry Plantains in cubes, circles or diagonally. But never have I seen us make them into cups. So I thought it’ll be fun to make plantain differently for once.
For this recipe I’ve decided to fill the cups with Slow Cooked Pork. Feel free to fill your Plantains with anything that floats your boat!
*RECIPE FINDINGS*: It is best to use Green Plantains and not Yellow Plantains (yes, I’m talking to you my fellow Nigerians who don’t like to follow instructions). I have tried this recipe with ripe yellow plantains and it was a messy fail. Yellow plantains are too ripe/soft so it’s tricky to mould and even trickier to keep the cup-like shape. Yellow plantains are also very sweet, and so is the slow-cooker Pork which will make everything taste too sweet – and not in a good way. Whereas, Green Plantains aren’t very soft so can mould easily and it is also not so sweet which will compliment the sweet pork filling.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 8 hours slow cooking + 10 mins frying Plantain
Yields: 8 plantain cups
Equipment: Slow-cooker, Lemon press, Cling film
- 2 Green Plantains, sliced lengthwise into 4
- 4 cups Oil
- 600g Pork Shoulder Steaks (approx. 1 packet)
- Marinade: 1 tbsp each of Cumin, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Paprika; 2 tsp Salt; 1.5 tbsp Brown Sugar; 2 tbsp Tomato Puree; 1 tbsp Soy Sauce; 1/2 Lime squeezed; 2 tbsp Orange juice; 3 tbsp Oil
- 1 Cup Chicken Stock
- 1 red Onion, sliced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Coriander finely chopped
- 1. For the Pork: In a bowl, wash your Pork Shoulders and pat them dry with a kitchen paper towel. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the “Marinade” ingredients listed above until fully combined. Pour the marinade over the Pork Shoulders and massage all over the pork and transfer to slow cooker. Using the same bowl for the marinade, mix 1 cup chicken stock and 1/2 cup Orange juice and pour into the slow cooker. Add in sliced onions and Bay Leaves. Cook on HIGH for 5 hours or cook on LOW for 8-9 hours until tender and can shred easily with a fork. (*TIP: I usually slow cook the Pork overnight and make the plantains the following day so they’re both ready together)
- 2. On to the Plantains: Peel and cut each plantain into 4, lengthwise. Decant 4 cups of oil into a pot and heat until the oil gets hot. Once the oil is heated, fry the plantains for 5 minutes until it is slightly golden (you don’t wanna overcook them the first time as you’re gonna need to fry them again). Take them out of the oil and place on a kitchen paper towel to soak up excess oil
- 3. Moulding the Plantains: Line lemon press with cling film, place the plantain into the lemon press and press down on it till it shuts. Open it up, carefully take off the cling film and plantain and leave to sit. Repeat with the rest of the plantain quarters. Once they’ve all been pressed and moulded, fry the plantains again until golden brown about 3-5 minute. Take them out from the oil and place onto kitchen paper towels.
- 4. Filling Plantain Cups: Take Pork out of slow cooker and shred with fork. Fill plantain cups with the Pork and drizzle some of the left over sauce from the slow cooker over the pork. Garnish with Coriander.
- 5. Plate, serve, take a million and one pictures, post on Snapchat, THEN EAT.