Good evening, Raffies!
Tonight we are going to the country with the richest biological diversity in the world: Colombia and enjoying some traditional Bandeja Paisa. A friend of mine came over to have dinner with us and we enjoyed a big meal with a lot of different parts composing it.
This is a really filling dish consisting of meat in a salsa, chorizo, rice, fried egg, avocado, beans, tajadas fritas (fried plantains), arepas (some corn flour cakes with cheese filling) and hogao/guiso. It was really good!
For the recipe, I have followed this recipe.
3 cups red Cargamanto beans, canned
2 tbsp oil
300 g minced meat
1 cup Hogao*
250 g tocino or bacon
6 small chorizos
3 cups steamed rice
*For the Hogao:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup scallions, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the tomatoes, scallions, garlic and cumin and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes on a low heat, until the sauce is thick.
Set aside and work on.
**For the Arepas:
2 cups warm water
2 cups areparina or corn flour/polenta
1 tbsp butter
Preheat your oven at 180ºC. In a bowl, mix the salt and the water. Slowly, add the areparina and stir in quickly, to prevent lumps from forming. You will want a dough that does not stick to your hands and is moist and malleable. Once it can be rolled into a ball, cover the bowl with a towel and leave to rest for approximately 5 minutes.
Now, uncover and take a handful of dough. Shape it into a ball and press the ball between your hands. If the dough cracks too much, add a few drops of water. It can crack, but it should only be small cracks.
Fry your arepas in a skillet with a few drops of oil for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Then transfer onto some parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve them either hot, warm or cold. To enjoy them, you can slice them in the middle and fill them like a bread roll.
Set aside and proceed.
Now that the preparations are done, let’s proceed with our Bandeja Paisa.
Cook the beans in a pot and season with salt. If you are using dried beans, remember to put them in water the night before, leave them to soak and boil them in the water they have been soaking in, until bland for 1-2 hours.
Now fry the bacon until crisp.
It is time to cook the minced meat. Cook in a pan with some oil and once it is not pink anymore, add some of the hogao and cook for a few minutes more. Season if necessary.
Now mix approximately half of the meat with the beans.
In a pan, fry the small chorizos until crisp, but still juicy.
Now in a new pan, pour the butter and fry the sliced plantains and the eggs sunny side up.
As for the onions, peel them and quarter them. Fry them in some oil or slice them and fry them. If you prefer them raw, you can just eat them raw. It is really up to your own personal preference.
It is time to put it all together on a plate: rice, arepas, beans, minced meat, hogao, eggs, plantains and the avocados or other veggies, if you like.
Have you ever tried Colombian cuisine? What’s your favourite? Let me know in the comments below.