Oh yum! I love me some plantains!! I don’t really care how you prepare them, they are flat out delicious. I’m always on the hunt for a good plantain recipe, so while scouring Pinterest the other day, I came across a link for Pastelón. It was described as Puerto Rican Lasagna or Shepard’s Pie. Interesting… I’ve thought about using plantains as a substitution for bread, but never for noodles. This had to be tried and this is the perfect week to do it as we just picked up 70# of grass-fed ground beef from our farm share.
I did a little recipe searching and found there are a number of variations on this dish, so doing what I do, I mashed them all together and came up with this recipe. Do not get intimidated by the ingredient list. Make it. Seriously. Soon.
Pastelón (Puerto Rican Lasagna with Plantains)
- Coconut oil for sauteing and frying
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced (I saw variations that called for green pepper or half red and half green. I only had a red one, so that’s what I went with.)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds of grass-fed ground beef
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup of homemade stock
- 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 1/3 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of raisins
- 12 olives, sliced (Most recipes called for green olives with pimentos, I only had black olives and they were a fine substitute.)
- 6 ripe plantains
- 8 eggs
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, melt a Tablespoon or two of coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until slightly softened. Add in the ground beef and break it up with a spoon or spatula. Add in your spices (sea salt through crushed red pepper flakes) and mix well. Continue cooking until the beef is browned, about 9-10 minutes.
Add the bay leaves, stock, and tomato paste, mixing well. Simmer uncovered over medium low heat until the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally.
While the beef mixture is simmering, prep your plantains. Peel them (see here for demo), cut them in half widthwise, and then cut each half into four slices lengthwise.
In a large frying pan, melt several Tablespoons of coconut oil. Lay the slices of plantain in the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned. You will probably have to do this in batches.
In a 9 x 13 (approximately) baking dish, layer half of the plantains in a single layer. Because I’m a tad bit OCD, I did the math and that comes out to 24 slices If you are using a glass dish or a Corningware style dish, you probably do not have to grease the pan (I didn’t). If you are using a metal pan, I would suggest greasing the pan for easier removal.
Whisk 4 eggs with a dash of salt and pepper and then pour them over the plantain layer. Remove the bay leaves from the beef mixture and stir in the cilantro, olives, and raisins. Carefully spread the beef over the plantains. Pack it down a little, it will help the Pastelón hold together better when you slice it. Next layer the rest of the plantains on top of the beef in a single layer. Whisk the remaining four eggs with a dash of salt and pepper and pour it over the top. Spread the eggs so they cover all of the plantains and seep into the beef a bit.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the eggs are set and the top is a golden brown color. I highly recommend letting the Pastelón sit for 5-10 minutes to help it firm up for cutting.
This recipe was shared at Food Renegade.