This is not your average bread stuffing recipe! Savory pork with plantains combined with the sweetness of fresh and dried fruits yields a delicious side dish good for any time of the year.
To this day, one of my favorite side dishes is the beef and pork stuffing my Mom would prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. It was made up of savory ingredients with the addition of a sweet apple to complement it all. For today's pork stuffing recipe, I was inspired by the picadillo filling I prepare for my chiles rellenos (stuffed poblanos). The mix of savory pork with fruits and plantains has a very Hispanic holiday feel. In order to transform this tasty dish into a hearty stuffing, I added seasoned bread cubes with chicken broth to bring it all together.
Cut the ends off of the plantain and place in a sauce pan of simmering water. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from hot water and let cool.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil to medium heat in a large skillet for a few minutes. Add the pork, salt, pepper, cumin and thyme. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
While the pork cooks, prepare the plantain. Peel and dice the plantain. Preheat 3 tablespoons of oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Lightly brown and fry, turning as needed. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to skillet with picadillo. Stir to combine.
To the skillet, add the onions, garlic and bell pepper. Sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add the apple, apricots, raisins, almonds and bread stuffing. Gradually add in 3 cups of chicken broth until the stuffing is saturated, but not soupy. If it seems too dry, add in a little more broth. Cook for a few minutes.
Transfer to a baking dish and bake in preheated 350º F oven for 30-40 minutes or until crust forms on top. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Need a gluten-free version? Instead of bread cubes, add 4 cups of cooked rice to the recipe. Omit the chicken broth, fold in 2 cups of shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes!