Watch Cooking Channel

Beyond Shepherd’s Pie: Puerto Rican Pastelón de Plátano Maduro

We’re down to the last few weeks of winter. Rather than pine for the warmer weather that’s around the corner, why not take advantage of cooler temperatures to indulge in all that’s soothing and filling? Of all the Caribbean comfort foods, plantains are the most versatile.  Even if you bring home too many, you’ll always find a use for them.  Bought green to make tostones, they can easily become mofongo.  Let them turn completely yellow, they can be steamed for a quick side dish of plátano sancochado.  Forget them altogether until they’re almost completely black, they can still be fried up to make maduros.

 

With a few yellow plantains on hand at the perfect mid-point — sweetly ripe but still firm enough to be boiled — I decided to make a Puerto Rican pastelón de plátano maduro.  Similar to a shepherd’s pie, the plantains are mashed together and layered with picadillo flavored with oregano, olives and capers, tomatoes and raisins then topped with cheese and baked.  The lower layer absorbs the juices from picadillo while the cheese crust balances out the sweetness from the plantains.

Of course, there are a million variations on picadillo but two ingredients in particular, recao, a flat-leaf herb similar to cilantro, and ají dulce, a sweet pepper with a little heat that doesn’t bite, are worth seeking out.  Widely available in Latin American markets, they give Puerto Rican sofrito its unique flavor and this dish a hint of warmth.

Pastelón de Plátano Maduro

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons annatto infused oil or canola oil*
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 ají dulce also known as ajicitos, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup peeled whole tomatoes, fresh or canned, crushed or roughly chopped
1/4 cup dry sherry
1-2 tablespoon raisins (optional)
1 whole bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 recao leaves (also known as culantro), finely chopped (cilantro can be substituted)
1/4 cup red roasted peppers, chopped
1/4 cup green olives, sliced
2 tablespoons capers
4-5 plantains, mostly yellow with some black spots, trimmed and cut in half
8 cups of water
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted plus more for greasing
1/2 cup queso blanco or parmesan, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 13×9 inch baking dish and set aside.

To make the picadillo, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped green peppers, ajicitos and onions.  Sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add the ground beef, breaking it up so there are no lumps.  Stir in the tomatoes, sherry, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and raisins if using.  Return to a low simmer, cover, and continue to cook an additional 15 minutes.  Add the chopped recao, red peppers, olives and capers.  Remove bay leaf, adjust seasoning to taste, and set aside.

Combine the water, salt and unpeeled plantains in a large pot.  Bring to a high simmer, cover and continue to cook an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain.  When cool enough to handle but still warm, peel, place in a large bowl and mash together.  Stir in the melted butter to combine.

Add half the plantain mixture to the prepared baking pan and spread to form a smooth layer.  Top with the prepared picadillo.  Cover with remaining plantain mixture and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake in preheated oven until it is warmed through and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

*Notes:  To make annatto oil, combine 1 cup of canola or olive oil and 1/4 cup of annatto seeds (also known as achiote) in a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring often, until it turns bright orange, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow steep an additional 15-20 minutes.  Drain and discard the seeds.  The oil can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 months.

Still hungry? Find more recipes on Ana’s site – Hungry Sofia.

Tags:

Comments (3433)

  1. Cool sites…

    […]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]……

  2. buy wood posted 01/02/2013

    You should check this out…

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]……

  3. lpg gas posted 01/02/2013

    Awesome website…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]……

  4. Empower Network posted 01/02/2013

    Great website…

    […]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]……

  5. it business insurance posted 01/02/2013

    Check this out…

    […] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]……

  6. Lipo 6 posted 01/02/2013

    Title…

    […]please go to the web pages we stick to, including this 1, because it represents our picks from the web[…]…

  7. zobacz tutaj posted 01/02/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    […]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]……

  8. dui lawyer posted 01/02/2013

    You should check this out…

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]……

  9. cheap bridesmaid dresses posted 01/02/2013

    Links…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]……

  10. hotele i noclegi posted 01/02/2013

    Cool sites…

    […]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]……

  11. aromas posted 01/02/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    […]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[…]……

  12. Rose 2013 parade posted 01/02/2013

    2013 rose parade…

    […]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[…]…

  13. lawn maintenance darien posted 01/02/2013

    writing historical screenplays for the industry of…

    film and television. since it is more expensive and complicated to give a shape to historical screenplays, only the best of the lot get to see the daylight.what makes the job of a historical fiction writer even more difficult is the…

  14. London plumbers posted 01/02/2013

    Title…

    […]Here is a superb Weblog You might Obtain Exciting that we Encourage You[…]…

  15. are bed bugs harmful posted 01/02/2013

    Cool sites…

    […]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]……

  16. onebuckresume posted 01/02/2013

    Online Article……

    […]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available […]……

  17. get a freelancer posted 01/02/2013

    Title…

    […]very couple of web sites that happen to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly really worth checking out[…]…

  18. aijf890j3w0f80uyh3j08urj posted 01/02/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  19. jewellery singapore posted 01/03/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    […]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[…]……

  20. amazing orthodontists posted 01/03/2013

    Check this out…

    […] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]……

  21. Karen Gritzma posted 01/03/2013

    The Ships’s Voyages…

    I think engineering just causes it to be worse. Now there is a channel to never treatment, now there won’t be considered a opportunity for them to find out….

  22. final cut pro training posted 01/03/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]……

  23. cover song posted 01/03/2013

    Title…

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]…

  24. zobacz link posted 01/03/2013

    Superb website…

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[…]……

  25. my survey expert posted 01/03/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]……

  26. Android posted 01/03/2013

    Great Content…

    we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  27. easy video suite bonus posted 01/03/2013

    Great Content…

    we like to honor many different web sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out…

  28. best marina in florida posted 01/03/2013

    Great website…

    […]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]……

  29. Title…

    […]we prefer to honor lots of other world wide web internet sites around the net, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[…]…

  30. uhaul posted 01/03/2013

    Online Article…

    Every so often in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed underneath are the latest sites that we choose…

  31. social posted 01/04/2013

    Title…

    […]please pay a visit to the web sites we stick to, which includes this one, as it represents our picks from the web[…]…

  32. free ipad 2 posted 01/04/2013

    Sites we Like……

    […] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose […]……

  33. Lipo 6 posted 01/04/2013

    Cool sites…

    […]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]……

  34. Apokriatika posted 01/04/2013

    Whispering Misty…

    So sorry you can expect to skip the workshop!…

  35. computer repair delray beach posted 01/04/2013

    Title…

    […]Every as soon as in a though we select blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the most up-to-date web sites that we pick […]…

  36. Small business directory posted 01/04/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    […]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[…]……

  37. where to buy penny stocks posted 01/04/2013

    Third Flower…

    My spouse and that i have already been now delighted that Albert could carry out his research on account of the suggestions he had via your web content. It can be from time to time perplexing to just normally be giving freely methods which some people …

  38. sale posted 01/05/2013

    Check this out…

    […] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]……

  39. Business Growth posted 01/05/2013

    Excellent website…

    the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the…

  40. Travelgenio posted 01/05/2013

    Title…

    […]below you’ll locate the link to some sites that we assume you need to visit[…]…

  41. Craigslist Leads posted 01/05/2013

    from a traffic exchange because your traffic…

    will readily buy his, and his will buy yours), then seek him/her out. and remember, in this business, you may have an actual product, you may not. but your primary product is your content.step 3: content planafter you’ve poured over your…

  42. bbb13.tv.br posted 01/05/2013

    improve agility and to provide relief to…

    you aching and tired muscles. it is a supplement that can be taken daily to promote faster joint healing process. just like the other products from this company, it also contains glucosamine, msm and chondroitin. consider including this supplement in y…

  43. Sources…

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]……

  44. Skycig discount codes posted 01/05/2013

    Sources…

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]……

  45. best uk ecig posted 01/05/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    […]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[…]……

  46. Have A Peek At This Site posted 01/06/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    […]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[…]……

  47. Sneak A Peek Here posted 01/06/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    […]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[…]……

  48. The Silent Shard…

    This can possibly be pretty helpful for some of your work I want to never only with my blogging site but…

  49. E-Lites reviews posted 01/06/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    […]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]……

  50. miami air posted 01/06/2013

    to.understanding how to structure a sentence and…

    use proper grammar is important for all kinds of writing. no one likes to read a poorly written piece of work. although not a huge portion of an english composition class, grammar is lectured about typically in the beginning of the…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c