Holy cow, guys! After I put this dish in the oven on Sunday afternoon, I had to go down the street to the market for a couple ingredients for another recipe. I came back 15 minutes later to the most amazing smells wafting out of my apartment. This takes a bit more time than my weekday, go-to recipes, but it’s perfect for putting together on the weekend when you’re relaxed and not rushed. I honestly won’t have enough left to freeze (because the whole thing is going to be eaten), but I suspect that tightly wrapped, it would freeze quite well. This recipe is so tasty that I think it’s wise to double the ingredients and make a 13″ x 9″ dish full instead of the smaller batch, especially if you are feeding more than two people.
As one of my readers pointed out, this dish is popular in Caribbean cuisine and is often called pinon or pastelon. The plantains and currants add a bit of sweetness which is balanced by the olives and vinegar. Okay, my mouth just watered writing that. If you want to make this, be sure to plan ahead and check what the plantains at your market look like – here they are always super green. You’ll want slightly ripe plantains for this recipe: they should yield gently to pressure and have greenish, yellow skin with some dark spots. If you can’t find achiote powder, paprika is a good substitute.
Prep time: 30 min Cook time: 1 hour Makes: 8″ x 8″ dish
- 1 lb (500 g) grass-fed ground beef
- 1/3 cup diced red pepper
- 1/2 of an onion, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 oz can diced mild green chilis
- 1 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
- 2 Tbsp dried currants (or raisins)
- 2 Tbsp chopped olives (green or black)
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp achiote or paprika
- 4 large slightly-ripe plantains (some yellow, some dark spots)
- Coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp water
- Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Grease the inside of an 8″ x 8″ glass dish with coconut oil and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef completely. Lower the heat and to the same skillet, add the red pepper, onion and bay leaf. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the veggies are softened.
- Add the green chilis, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, currants, olives, apple cider vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
- Peel and slice the plantains into 1/3″ diagonal pieces. To peel, cut off both ends and slice through the skin lengthwise, then peel off in sections. If any skin remains, trim it off with a knife.
- In another skillet (I like cast iron for this task) over medium heat, add a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and begin to brown the plantains in a single layer, about 2 minutes per side. You’ll have to do this a few times until all the plantains are golden brown. Caution: if you walk away or get distracted, these will easily burn. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and water.
- Now you’re ready to assemble the pie: in the bottom of the dish, pour half of the egg mixture. Place plantains in a single layer on top of the egg. Spread half the meat/veggie mixture on top. Add another layer of plantains. Add the rest of the meat/veggie mixture. Top with one final layer of plantains. Pour the rest of the egg mixture on top. [To summarize: egg – plantain – meat – plantain – meat – plantain -egg].
- Bake for 1 hour and let sit for 10 minutes before you slice into the pie.