Bacán recipe - How to Make Cuban Green Banana Meat Pie
recipe courtesy of "A Taste of
Cuba" by Beatriz LLamas - posted with permission (do not repost)
[site owner's note: this Baracoa, Cuba recipe is
from one of my favorite Cuban cookbooks of all time:
A Taste of Cuba.
The name of the cookbook is actually just a coincidence.
was published in 2005 and is filled with popular and rare delicious
recipes plus wonderful illustrations of Cuban living and food
photos. This is a fun Cuban recipe from a must-have cookbook.
Bacán is a dish that is made only in the region of Baracoa, the town
on the North coast of the far East of the island of Cuba. This
region, which is extremely difficult to reach by land, was isolated
from the rest of the island for a long time and has some customs
that have more in common with other Caribbean islands than Cuba
itself; amongst these customs is the use of coconut milk in cooking.
The region produces a great deal of fruit including the coconut and
the "guineo", the local name for bananas. Bacán is a small pasty
(pie) made with green bananas mixed with coconut milk and seasoned
with garlic and lime. The pasty can be filled with pork as in this
recipe, or with stewed crab or smoked meat. The pasties are cooked
wrapped in banana leaves and are eaten either at lunch or with milky
coffee for breakfast.
For the Pork Stuffing:
9 ounces lean pork meat
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
4 garlic cloves
1 3/4 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomato
1 tablespoon white wine
1 banana leaf
7 green bananas (approximately 4 ounces each)
1 teaspoon lime juice
4 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon annatto powder or oil
7 tablespoons coconut milk
For the pork stuffing: Dice the meat into 3/4 inch cubes. Heat the
oil in a saucepan and saute the meat for approximately 15 minutes
until golden. Add the onion, the pepper, and the garlic first
crushed in a mortar. Saute on a low heat for 3 minutes then add the
tomato. Cook for 6-8 more minutes, stirring occasionally, and add
the wine. Season with salt. Cover and cook for around 10 minutes on
low heat until the meat is tender and swimming in a thick vegetable
For the wrapping: Cut the banana leaf into eight rectangles 7 x 10
inches, and eight 3 x 10 inches. Wash the pieces of banana leaf well
and boil them in water for 1 minute so that they lose their
stiffness and become malleable. Dry them well.
Peel the bananas by making incisions along each fruit then removing
the strips of skin one by one. Grate the bananas on a fine blade,
then add the lime juice, the crushed garlic, and the annatto powder
combined with the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, and mix
well. The mixture will not be very thick but it will thicken up once
it has been cooked in the banana leaves.
Place two pieces of banana leaf, one of each size, on the
countertop, in the shape of a cross. Place two tablespoons of the
banana mixture in the middle and a line of the stewed meat on top.
Fold the leaves over to form a little rectangular packet and tie
like a parcel with kitchen string.
Cook the bacán in plenty of boiling water for 30 minutes then drain.
They can be served in their wrapping or the banana leaves can be
removed before serving them on a dish. Bacáns can also be eaten cold
although they are not as tasty.
This recipe serves 8.
*From A TASTE OF CUBA by Beatriz LLamas, copyright c Beatriz LLamas,
2005, published by Interlink Publishing, an imprint of Interlink
Publishing Group, Inc.
www.interlinkbooks.com. Reprinted by permission.
You can purchase a copy of the book by visiting their website,
Main Cuban recipe pages:
• soups •