Recipe

Mambo Rice Lasagna

  • Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast, such as Boston butt or picnic (about 6 pounds)
  • Juice of 3 limes, or 1/2 cup lime juice
  • Juice of 1 1/2 oranges, or 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons crushed dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced (about 6 tablespoons minced)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 6 very ripe plantains (outside skin must be black)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and halved or quartered
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Directions

  • DAY 1: Place the pork in a large resealable plastic food storage bag and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the lime juice, orange juice, oregano, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of the minced garlic and whisk to combine thoroughly.
  • Pour the juice mixture over the pork and seal the storage bag. Place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight, turning occasionally.
  • DAY 2: The next morning, remove the pork from the refrigerator and allow it to return to room temperature while still in the bag before proceeding.
  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350?F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and place a roasting rack inside the roasting pan.
  • Remove the pork from the marinade and discard the marinade. Season the pork with 1 tablespoon of the salt and the pepper.
  • Place the pork on the rack, fat side up. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 4 hours. Start preparing the rice and beans and plantains.
  • Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the foil from the roast and continue to bake until roast is very tender and pulls apart easily with a fork, about 2 hours longer.
  • Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pork from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • When the pork is cool enough to handle, remove any excess fat from the meat with a fork and discard. Using two forks or your clean hands, shred the pork into bite-size pieces. Set aside in a medium clean bowl.
  • PREPARING THE RICE AND BEANS AND PLANTAINS: While the pork is roasting, in a medium saucepan combine the canned, undrained black beans, 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in the rice and return to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to medium-low so that the rice just simmers. Cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed the cooking liquid, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to peel the plantainsówhich do not peel like regular bananas, top to bottomócarefully run a sharp knife down the length of the plantain in several spots. Then you can simply peel away the skin by opening it side to side.
  • Slice the peeled plantains crosswise on a diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  • In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of vegetable oil over medium-high heat and sautÈ the plantain slices, in batches if necessary, until golden brown on both sides, turning with tongs to ensure even browning, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to plates lined with paper towels to drain briefly, then set plantains aside until ready to assemble the casserole.
  • In a small saucepan or skillet, heat the 1/2 cup olive oil over low heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of minced garlic. Cook slowly until the garlic is softened and very aromatic but not browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNA: Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350?F.
  • When all of the elements are ready, spread half of the rice and bean mixture evenly along the bottom of a lasagna pan.
  • Top with the shredded pork, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Top this with the fried plantains and season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Place the remaining rice and bean mixture over the plantains and drizzle the reserved garlic oil mixture over the top. Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Using oven mitts or pot holders, place the lasagna in the oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.
  • Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the lasagna from the oven and serve garnished with the cherry tomatoes and parsley.