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"She is amazing. One day we're all going to be waiting in line to get into her restaurants. I think she is going to be a huge star," Rach says of 22-year-old Brianna Peguero.

Here, she shows you how to make a Dominican-style casserole that layers seasoned ground beef with buttery, mashed plantains and melted mozzarella cheese.

Shopping Tip: Look for blackened plantains, which are a sign of ripeness. If plantains are not ripe, boil for at least 20 minutes.


  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 ajicito peppers, preferably green
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 to 6 pimento-stuffed green olives, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 6 very ripe plantains, peeled
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


Serves: 8 to 10


Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Combine ground beef, onion, peppers, garlic, oregano, olives, and cilantro. Marinate for half an hour.

In a skillet, cook on medium heat as fat renders and until meat starts to dry out. Season with 1 ½ teaspoons each salt and pepper or to taste. When dry, add the tomato sauce and cook until sauce binds, about 5 minutes.

While beef is marinating, boil the plantains, 15 to 20 minutes or more depending on ripeness. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add 1 teaspoon salt. Drain the plantains, add butter and mash until it forms a mangu (or mash). Add olive oil.

In a 9-by-11-inch baking dish, spread ½ of the mash. Add ground beef mixture on top, then layer on 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining ½ of mash and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

Bake until cheese is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.