Paleo Plantain Beef Pie…holy cow! 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. Makes an 8″ x 8″ dish. (I used two smaller dishes.)
Ingredients for Paleo Plantain Beef Pie (Pastelon):
- 1 pound (500 grams) grass-fed ground beef
- 1/3 cup diced red pepper
- 1/2 an onion, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ounce (120 mL) can diced mild green chilis
- 1 cup (240 mL) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup (120 mL) tomato sauce
- 2 Tablespoons dried currants (or raisins)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped olives (green or black)
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon achiote or paprika
- 4–5 large, slightly ripe plantains (some yellow, some dark spots)
- Coconut oil for frying
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional
Directions for Paleo Plantain Beef Pie (Pastelon):
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease the inside of an 8″ x 8″ baking 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 10 more minutes. While this is cooking, start the plantains. (Remove the bay leaf before assembling the pie.)
- 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, spread half the meat / veggie mixture. Pour 1/3 of the beaten egg on top. Place plantains in a single layer on top of the egg. Repeat the layers one more time and top with the remaining 1/3 of the beaten egg. (To summarize: Meat – egg – plantain – meat – egg – plantain – egg.)
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until the eggs are set. Let sit for 10 minutes before you slice into the pie.
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