Cuban Stuffing is a big punch of flavor on a classic American dish. Stuffing, as we all know, is a traditional Thanksgiving dish. It is usually made with cornbread, or a white bread, and mixed with onions and celery and warm spices. It isn’t surprising that Cubans, being in exile, found a way to give it their own spin.
There were many households who stuck to what they knew at Thanksgiving. Things such as Congri and Yuca. There were, however, other households who were trying to adapt to a new life in a new country. Cuban Stuffing was born from the Cuban exile community’s need to fit in and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with a combination of ingredients they were familiar with and ingredients they were recently exposed to by living in the USA.
Cuban Stuffing starts with a simple picadillo tossed with plantains and Cuban bread, but then studded with some signature holiday ingredients such as almonds and warm spices. It is a delicious clash of two cultures on one plate.
This recipe changed from year to year when my mom and grandmother would make this for thanksgiving. Sometimes they would add dates instead of raisins or corn bread instead of Cuban bread or walnuts instead of almonds, but the culmination of sweet, savory, familiar Cuban ingredients and traditional American components were always there married together.Ani
Cuban Stuffing Hot Tip
If you want to make this in advance you can make the stuffing a day before, place in a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven. It will be warm on the inside and form a crispy crust on the outside.
Cuban StuffingCourse: SidesCuisine: Cuban AmericanDifficulty: Easy
½ pound Ground beef
½ pound Ground pork
4 cups of thickly diced Cuban bread
1 cup of diced ham
6 sweet plantains previously cooked, chopped (it should be just over 1 cup)
½ cup of slivered almonds
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely diced
4 tablespoons of butter
2- 3 cups of chicken broth
¼ cup olives
¼ cup of golden raisins
¼ cup of parsley
½ teaspoon of oregano
¼ teaspoon of cumin
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- In a sauté pan on medium high heat add the onions, butter, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until they become soft and translucent. Push the onions to the side. Add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until just cooked and slightly golden.
- Push the onions to the side. Add the ground beef and pork to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Break up the meats until they are completely crumbled.
- Add the diced ham. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the meat browns and is completely cooked. Then add the oregano, and cumin.
- Now it’s time to add the plantains and bread. Cook together and stir for 3-5 minutes. Use tongs or two spoons to mix everything together.
- Add the olives and raisins. Start adding 2 cups of broth and add more as needed.
- As everything comes together add the parsley. If you like a very moist stuffing add another cup or two of broth. Serve warm.