Pabellon Criollo on Crispy Fried Plantains

By • July 20, 2011 • 17 Comments

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Author Notes: I grew up having flank steak on the grill. I met an Italian woman who had lived in Venezuela and Argentina, after I moved to Chicago and she told me about how she boils and sheds flank steak. I insisted that she teach me how to do it. She boiled the flank steak for about 1 1/2 hours in water. Something about that just didn't felt right to me, even though I really liked the taste. So I make my Pabellon Criollo in the slow cooker. It seems to make less of a mess and makes the sauce a bit richer. It is traditionally served with rice, black beans, and fried ripe plantains.

So enter this great restaurant in Chicago called Belly Shack. They serve a spicy tofu sandwich on crispy plantains in place of bread. I love it and it is where I got the inspiration to use the plantains of the traditional dish as sweet salty vehicle to serve the meat on.

Next, it needed a little vegetable texture added to the sandwich. My family's cole slaw recipe (I have also posted it on this site: Schuler's Cole Slaw) was perfect for this sandwich. It is made with whipped cream, sugar and caraway. This compliments the plantains and shredded beef.

In the end, you have a unique sandwich to serve your friends. Bonus: It's gluten-free. - MyCommunalTable
MyCommunalTable

Food52 Review: This dish is proof that slow cooking makes a huge difference. The flank steak is so tender. And, it is complimented by the cool coleslaw and crisp plantains. I tried it on the plantains and also on a roll. Both ways were delicious. I thought it very interesting that you soak the plantains after the first round of frying. Accidentally I forgot to soak one round of plantains and, to my surprise, it did make a big difference. The ones that were soaked were softer on the inside, which worked better with the fried exterior. Serve this dish with some cold beers and you've got a great meal. - singing_bakersinging_baker

Serves 4-6

Pabellon Criollo

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 2 teaspoons creole seasonings
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spanish olives with pimento, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper
  1. Heat up oil in a large saute' pan. Rub flank steak with creole seasonings. Brown flank steak on each side.
  2. In the slow cooker, place browned flank steak and all the rest of the ingredients, but do not add salt and pepper until tasting at the end. Cover and set on low for 8 hours.
  3. When 8 hours is up, take two forks and shred the meat. Mix with sauce. Taste, then add appropriate amount of salt and pepper. I find that I usually need pepper, but not much salt, if any.
  4. The shredded meat keeps great on the warm in the crock pot while I make the crispy plantains. The meat also tastes great on a soft potato dinner roll.

Crispy Plantains

  • 2 green plantains
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus some for seasoning
  1. Peel the plantains and cut in half. Cut each half down the middle, making a oblong shape.
  2. Set up a bowl with water and salt in it by the stove.
  3. Heat up oil in a large saute' pan to 325F. Drop cut plantains into oil until slightly golden. About a minute. It may need to be turned to ensure all sides are golden brown.
  4. Pull plantains from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel lined cookie sheet. When cool enough to touch, place on counter and flatten with bottom side of a plate until 1/2 inch thick. It should be in an oval like rectangle shape. Drop into salted water. Repeat with all of the plantains. Soak for 1 minute.
  5. Make sure that oil is heated back up to 325F. Pat dry plantains, then drop in oil for a final fry. It will take about 2 minutes a side. Drain on paper towel and season with salt.
  6. Assemble crispy plantains with Pabellon Criollo and cole slaw. Serve immediately.
Jump to Comments (17)

Tags: plantains, shredded beef sandwich

Comments (17) Questions (1)

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about 3 years ago narcisa

This is a very typical sandwich to Puerto Ricans....we call it a Jibarito (pronounced: hee-bah-ree-toh). The most traditional is filled with roasted pork shoulder, but, you can find it filled with anything you like. My favorite is with stewed crab. If you haven't had it before I strongly recommend giving this recipe a shot.

Hib_kitchen

about 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

I just heard of Jibarito after I posted this from my Puerto Rican friends here in Chicago. They tell me that it has a Chicago Puerto Rican community origins. I love your idea of the stewed crab inside the crispy plantains. Heck, a lot of things would taste good in between crispy plantains. I will be searching for the stewed crab. Thanks for the suggestion. Where are you from?

Bike2

about 3 years ago Sagegreen

You could have some northern virtual guests, too, I hope!

Bike2

about 3 years ago Sagegreen

P.S. LOVE your recipe. So clever!

Hib_kitchen

about 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Sounds great to me. Thanks for the kudos.

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about 3 years ago zieker

This may be the next thing I suggest for "collaboration cooking" by the pool with aagersi. (AA, are ya in?) YUM!!

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about 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

YES! I AM! I bet we could rustle up some otheer Ginger's Kitchen-ers too!

Hib_kitchen

about 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Collaboration cooking, pool side... I am in. Love it!!!

036

about 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Ginger's Kitchen needs to open again!!

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over 3 years ago amreiskitchen

this sounds absolutely yummy and interesting after so often seeing tex mex type of uses. Definitely going to give it a try

Hib_kitchen

over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Thanks, amreiskitchen.

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Wow, I finally had time to read about your recipe - looks terrific and love that you included your cole slaw.

Hib_kitchen

over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Thanks, Elizabeth. It sure is fun to make.

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This looks really great, and a tasty change from the usual fare!

Hib_kitchen

over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Thanks, aargersi. It is kind of dish that I make for friends. It is fun to give them something different.

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

This is not my photo. I posted it for MyCommunalTable who took the shot - looks great, Elizabeth!

Hib_kitchen

over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Thanks for doing it for me, Liz.