Paleo Plantain Beef Pie

IMG_4066Holy 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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Grease the inside of an 8″ x 8″ glass dish with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and water.
  7. 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].
  8. Bake for 1 hour and let sit for 10 minutes before you slice into the pie.
  9. Nosh.
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33 thoughts on “Paleo Plantain Beef Pie

      • Island food is terrific! Lots of avocado, mango, coconut, olives (and, and of course, meat & seafood)… all the good stuff :) and without a lot of hidden grains (mainly rice, which is easily subbed out). Have you tried mofongo? Puerto Rican tamales? (they use mashed plantain instead of cornmeal)… so much good stuff! Thanks for sharing this recipe and opening up the topic!

      • I’ve never traveled to the Caribbean but it’s high up on my list of places to visit. Experiencing a culture through its food is one of the most amazing experiences. I haven’t tried either of those but I do have a good friend who is Puertorriquena so I’m going to pick her brain! Have you spent time there? It sounds wonderful!

  1. This looks delicious! But I’m not a big fan of either currants or raisins. Do you think the dish would be as good without them, or does it need that extra touch of sweetness? Can you recommend a substitute?

    • Hi Nancy! I think it would be just as good without it. I’m thinking something like a few chopped dates or dried apricots would add a hint of sweet but I don’t think it’s necessary. The plantains, when slightly ripe, will have their own sweetness :) I’m so happy to have heard from you! Love you, DenMo!

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  7. So freaking good! Seriously. I doubled this recipe and made it on a Sunday evening. The BF and I were able to eat this throughout the week. It made A LOT. Perfect for two busy people! I never cooked with plantains before and was worried b/c mine were still a bit green but they turned out great. Not very sweet… more like a potato than a banana in flavor. The only downside is it took me a long time to cook. Almost 2 hours before I could put this bad boy into the oven. Not sure if I’m just slow or if doubling the recipe just took a long time. Either way it was worth it. Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Kamila (beautiful name, by the way)! I’m really happy to hear that you enjoyed it. Good for you for trying something new. I know it can be a risk when you take the time (and money) to buy the ingredients and cook the dish only to find out it’s not for your taste buds…but I’m SUPER glad that wasn’t the case with this one. The frying of the plantains can definitely take some time!

  8. Just made this for dinner and it was scrumptious. The whole cave clan ate it up…i loved all the bold flavors and layers:) YUMMM

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