First I have to say that the minced beef we get in the UK and the one I made myself (here in Lagos) with the local beef in Nigeria, are like chalk and cheese....miles apart in taste and texture and juiciness...omg!
Already, Nigerians are known to favor beef with a firm texture, which is able to retain and soak up lots of flavours... This is because Nigerian cows are largely organic, fed on natural grass and vegetation, and put through a lot of "exercise" because they are reared by the a Nomadic Nigerian tribe known as the Fulanis. Everywhere they go, they take their cows and allow them to graze on natural vegetation as they move from one place to the other....actually they move in search of vegetation...!
Anyway, I am totally in love with this beef, and when I decided to make some home-made mince out of them, I was so pleasantly surprised by the outcome....its so different (pleasantly I have to add), from what I was used to eating in the UK.
So I was looking for new ways to do a plantain dish, especially ripe plantains which are so much available and tend to deteriorate quickly...I was in search of other exciting ways other than just frying or baking as usual... My first attempt of making this mince and plantain combo was a hit... As I said, you have to try it to fully appreciate this dish.
What you need
Lean beef (remove all traces of fat and tendons and wash beef. Then cut into chunks. Using a food processor or meat grinder, mince the beef and set aside.)
Salt to taste
Peeled plum tomatoes or tomato paste
What to do
Cut the plantains in half, unpeeled and boil in salty water until soft. Then peel the plantains add a knob of butter and mash in a bowl using a fork. You may wish to remove the black row of seeds from the plantain before mashing (this is optional). Mash into a smooth consistency, set aside
In a sauce pan, heat some oil and add chopped onions, red and green peppers and stir. Allow to brown slightly, then add the minced beef. Stir all ingredients together to combine. Then add chopped peeled plum tomatoes. Now is the time to add some stock powder and/or salt to taste. Adjust according to your preference. Allow the beef to cook through (the pink colour turns brown to indicate the beef is ready.)
Now place the mashed plantain and the cooked minced beef into an oven dish in alternating layers. Allow to bake for about 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 C. When the top layer begins to brown/crisp, then it is ready.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest (cool) for a further 10 minutes before serving.
Note:The dish tastes even better when allowed to rest in the fridge overnight...!