This wonderful Puerto Rican/Cuban concoction is a warm comforting meal that you will be sure to enjoy. Pastelón de Plátano Maduro or Piñón consists of layers of delicious Picadillo, sweet ripened fried plantains, and cheesy goodness that will leave you wanting more.
Pastelón de Plátano Maduro (Puerto Rican name) or Piñón as named by Cuban cooks is what many people consider to be a Puerto Rican or Cuban Lasagna because of the layers. I have to say to me it reminds me more of a Spanish Shepherds Pie when it is made with mashed plantains– Dominicans and some Cuban cooks mash the plantains for the layers, I do not mash my plantains.
What is Picadillo you wonder? Cuban Picadillo is a ground beef mixture with peppers, onions, garlic, oregano, tomato, olives and on occasion raisins, potatoes, wine and capers. Puerto Rican Picadillo usually contains ground meat that is sautéed with annatto oil, ham, thyme, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, recaito, tomato sauce and sometimes raisin (soaked in rum), olives, capers, and potatoes.
Below you will find our complete recipe for Picadillo, sofrito seasoning and the easy to follow step by step instructions to make Pastelón de Plátano Maduro – Piñón. All ingredients are easily found in most Spanish sections of your favorite local grocery store.
Pastelón de Plátano Maduro
- 4 ripe plantains (The skins should be black), sliced longwise and halved
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/4 teaspoon ground achiote
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped spanish onions
- 1/4 cup chopped green peppers
- 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 12 green olives, optional
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/8 cup Sofrito, recipe below
- 1 and 1/2 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 egg, slightly beaten
Ingredients for Sofrito
- 1 red freshly roasted red pepper
- 1 small onion, roasted
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 12 chopped culantro leaves
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- juice of 1 lime
Directions for sofrito
In a large food processor place all ingredients and process till smooth. Once done set to the side for later use in the Pastelón de Plátano Maduro. Extra Sofrito may be stored in refrigerator or frozen for later use in other recipes.
Directions for Fried Plantains
Heat enough olive oil in a large skillet so that the oil is about 1/4 of an inch deep, the oil should be hot. Peel the black skin from the plantain and slice longwise and halved (about ½ inch thick) add the plantain slices and cook until the bottom is a golden honey color. Turn over each slice and cook until both sides are evenly golden. Remove from oil and transfer to paper towels to drain; pat off any excess oil. Set to the side for later use.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Directions for meat and casserole assembly
In a large skillet on medium heat, place lean ground beef, add achiote, kosher salt, and ground black pepper, let cook for about 5 minutes and start breaking meat up a little with spatula, add chopped spanish onions, chopped green peppers, chopped, red peppers, let cook for 3-5 minutes breaking meat up further with a spatula.
Once meat is completely broken up add diced tomatoes,minced garlic, sofrito, green olives (optional), sofrito, and cook another 5-6 minutes on low heat. If you have a lot of excess juice in your pan, drain quickly in a colander (You do not want the meat completely dry so do not leave in colander for over 1 minute
Lightly oil a 9×13 glass oven safe casserole dish , place 1/2 of ground beef mixture evenly in the bottom, place 1/3 of plantain slices on top, 1/2 cup of cheese. Begin another layer of remaining ground beef, another 1/3 of plantain slices. Whisk eggs and evenly pour evenly on top of casserole, add remaining 1 cup of cheese, place the last remaining 1/3 of plantain slices on the very top of casserole.
Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in middle of oven until hot throughout and bubbly around edges, about 30 minutes. Cool for 8- 10 minutes before serving .
Disclosure: Our Pastelón de Plátano Maduro – Piñón pictured above is a more dry version of the recipe so that you may see the ingredients, it normally has a bit more of a juicy look and feel with a ton of cheese on top, for photo and viewing reasons it has been slightly altered for your viewing pleasure. If you would like to have yours turn out as above picture simply drain meat longer and omit 1/2 cup of cheese to last layer.
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material or photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You may not copy and paste recipes to share on Social Platforms.