Banana Stoba (Curacaoan Stewed Plantains)
Unique to what we typically think of as stews, pumpkin, plantains, and sweet potatoes are at the heart of Curacaoan Banana Stoba. Yes, there is some salted, and very tender meat in this tasty dish, but be prepared for your palate to be pleasantly surprised with the contrast of textures in this stew, along with seductive hints of cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.
- 1 lb salted meat, chopped in 2″ cubes
- 3 yellow (ripe) plantains, peeled and cut in 3″ pieces.
- ½ lb sweet potatoes (Boniatos), peeled and chopped in 3″ cubes
- ½ lb calabaza pumpkin (or butternut squash), peeled, seeded, and chopped in 3″ cubes
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion
- 2 celery stalks, cut in 1″ pieces
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 10 dried allspice berries, whole
- 10 cloves, whole
- Sugar, to taste
- Place meat in a bowl and pour over enough water to cover it. Allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
- Drain the water and place the meat in a large pot. Add enough water to cover it and cook over medium heat until the meat is tender. Set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the oil and butter. Add the onion, celery, cinnamon sticks, allspice and cloves and sauté. Add the meat and water, and simmer for 10-minutes.
- Add the plantain, sweet potato and pumpkin. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are fork-tender. If the soup is too watery when the vegetables are done, scoop out the vegetables and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced to a heavy sauce, then return the vegetables to the pot and stir.
- Add sugar to taste. Serve hot.