This Chipotle Chilli Plantain Bake is one of those classics that will have you slaying your dinner parties every single time. The rich beef and chipotle chilli gives a subtle smokey spicy feel to this dish and it shows off plantain in ways that will surprise you. If you love lasagne, you will love this.
10 medium-ripe plantains
1kg minced beef
3 400g tins chopped or plum peeled tomatoes
500g cheddar or mozzarella cheese (or an equal mix of both), grated
70g tomato puree
2 large red onions, chopped
2 ata rodo or scotch bonnet chillis
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp chipotle chilli flakes
2 heaped tsp Maldon smoked sea salt
2 bay leaves
10 basil leaves, roughly chopped
2tbsp olive oil
4 plantain chips for garnishing (optional)
1.Rinse the plantains and top and tail them. Use a knife to score each one down the side to make peeling easier once boiled.
- Cut each plantain in half, down the centre and place them in a large pot. Pour over water to cover and boil until cooked.
- Drain the water from the boiled plantain and peel the skin off using the score line made earlier. Now take each plantain piece cut it into 2 or 3 slices lengthways to make flat pieces. Set aside on a tray to cool.
- Begin making the sauce by blitzing the chopped/plum peeled tomatoes, ata rodo and garlic in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the minced meat and stir fry it until it is crumbly and cooked. Season with the smoked sea salt, 1 tsp chipotle chilli flakes and the bay leaves.
- Add the onions and basil leaves and stir in until they are soft and sweet.
- Pour on the blended tomato, garlic and pepper mixture. Add all the water. Cover and cook on low heat until a beautiful, rich Bolognese sauce emerges. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary and remove from heat.
- In a large oven-safe dish, begin to assemble the bake by spooning some sauce onto the bottom. Cover the sauce with slices of plantain, and a small sprinkle of cheese (you want to save lots of cheese for the top). Layer and repeat until the sauce and plantain are all used up.
- Take the remaining cheese, and sprinkle on top along with the remaining chipotle chillis.
- Bake in the oven at 200*C for 35 minutes, or until piping hot and the cheese is nicely melted.
- Decorate with plantain chips and serve immediately.