Yucca is a vegetable root high in carbohydrates and a good source of fiber. Add a little meat, a salad or some vegetables and you'll have the complete meal all set.
Yucca is a popular root here in Costa Rica, most commonly served as a side for dishes like vigorones, chicharrones and as part of the olla de carne soup. To me, the way I present this recipe here is the best way to eat it. This pie is very similar to a Shepherd's pie, but using yucca instead of potatoes.
To give more depth to the dish, I prefer to cook the meat in the crockpot, to concentrate the flavors, and make it more as a stew. Also the good thing about this meat recipe, it is that makes enough meat to save for later.
When mashing the yuca, make sure you mash it until smooth. It will take some time but it is worth it.
Feel free to add any other seasoning that you like to the mash. If the mash takes good, the pie will be good!. And last and most important, do not overcook it, as it can get very dry. If you are not getting the nice bronze color on top, don't keep cooking, just turn the broiler for a few minutes and problem solved. ENJOY!
Serving size: 6
For the meat
2 pound beef flank steak
1 big onion
1 red bell pepper
2 big tomatoes
6 garlic cloves
2 tsp salt + 1 tsp black ground pepper + 1 tbsp fresh oregano + 1/2 tsp cumin + 2 bay leaves
1 to 1/2 cup of water
4 ounces tomato paste.
For the pie
1.5 Kg yucca (cassava, yuca)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup of butter
2 cups cheese (any melting cheese, I use queso cremoso)
1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp ground pepper + 1 tsp garlic salt + 1/2 tsp roasted garlic powder (optional)
To make the meat: chopped the tomatoes, pepper, onion and garlic. In a crock pot, put the meat, seasonings and the chopped vegetables add enough water to cover the meat. Cover and cook for 6 hours at low temperature. When done, remove 1 cup of liquid, bay leaves and add the tomato paste. Cover and cook for 45 more minutes.
To make the yucca: wash, peel and cut the yucca in chucks. Place it into a large pot, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and return the yucca to the pot. Then mash the yucca with a potato masher, add the butter, milk, 1 cup of cheese and seasonings. Continue to mash until smooth and fluffy.
To ensemble the pie:
Preheat oven at 350F. Greased a 9 by 9 in baking dish; spread half of the yucca mashed, in a thick layer. Spread 2 cups of meat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese; layer the other half of the yucca and sprinkle the remaining cheese. Cook for 35 min.
Hi I'm Meli and I love food, I love cooking, I love eating, I love traveling and I love Costa Rica. I want to share a little bit of my culture through my food