Patacon de Pernil
This Venezuelan sandwich replaces bread with fried green plantains, stuffed with pork and wasakaka sauce.
"The patacon might be the perfect drinking food."
Total: 45 minutes
8-10 lbs. pork shoulder (also known as pernil)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons adobo
1 cup water
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 big head garlic
2 green plantains
vegetable oil for frying
lettuce for topping
cotija cheese for topping
wasakaka sauce for topping
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 sweet green pepper, roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic
small bunch fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
small bunch fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup vinegar (white or red wine)
1 teaspoon salt
pinch black pepper
1/2 cup corn oil (olive oil or mayonnaise will work as well)
1. For the filling: Start by preheating your oven to 350° F. Wash the pork in cold water and place it in a roasting pot. Stab it with a fork a few times before rubbing the meat with a mixture of the ground black pepper, salt, and adobo.
2. Add the water and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Dice up the garlic cloves and rub them into the meat. Make sure to coat the pork evenly with all of the ingredients in the pot.
3. Cook the pork, covered, in the oven for 7 hours, while rotating the meat every hour or so for even flavoring and cooking. Let the pork sit for an hour before shredding and serving.
4. For the patacon: Peel two green plantains. You'll need to use a knife, as they don't peel like bananas. Fry the plantains in an inch or two of oil until they are lightly browned all over. Remove from the pan with a slotted spatula.
5. Here comes the hard part. Lay a sheet of wax paper on a cutting board and wrap another cutting board (or heavy pan) with a layer of aluminum foil. Crush the plantains between the pans or cutting boards. Once they are crushed and roughly circular, flatten them out further with a rolling pin.
6. Let the patacon chill for an hour in the refrigerator, and then deep-fry them again until they reach a deep, golden brown. Pat off the excess oil with a paper towel and layer the patacon with some of the shredded pernil, lettuce, cheese, and wasakaka sauce.
7. For the wasakaka sauce: Combine everything except for the oil in a blender until it has a mostly smooth texture. Add the oil with the blender running until the mixture is the consistency you prefer. It should be liquid enough to drizzle over a steak, but creamy enough to spread on a sandwich.
8. Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Wasakaka is best made fresh but will keep for a few days in the fridge. If the onion flavor is too strong, let it rest covered in the fridge for an hour or so.