I had to put “my spin” into the title because I can see someone who grew up on pastelón coming after me since this is not an authentic recipe. I have a Peruvian recipe on my website which originally has parmesan cheese and white bread in it, so I figured out a way to make it without those ingredients…and he was PISSED. Insulted, actually. So just a warning here – this is not an authentic Puerto Rican. And I don’t mean to offend anyone with my recipe creation. But from what I know, an authentic Puerto Rican pastelón dish which is a plantain lasagna, normally is filled with delicious cheese. So I made it with no cheese. And I made it in a way that would still combine everything without the cheese. I wish paleo included cheese, that would be pretty rad, but it doesn’t. So I work around it. Not trying to insult, just trying to eat, ok?!
I made this recipe after eating at the new Latin restaurant in town, Candela Latin Kitchen. Latin food has always spoke my language. I’ve made recipes like Carne Mechada and Lechón Asado in my cookbook and Ají de Gallina and Lomo Saltado on my website. So when I found out about this restaurant, I was pumped! And they did not disappoint. Candela Latin Kitchen has menu items like mofongo (which I tried and LOOOOOOVED…need to make a recipe for that!), yucca fries, tostones, pastelón, and lomo saltado. And they have brunch, too. I know this sounds like an ad for this restaurant, but I’m just honestly obsessed with this place and it got me so inspired in the kitchen! Which is why I made this recipe!
Speaking of obsessed, I got a new rug and I’m simply in love! Especially because when I put a deposit down to have it ordered to the store, it wasn’t on sale. But when I picked it up, it was!! And so I was able to get the rug on major sale! And now I just want to walk on it all day because it’s like walking on a giant blanket. And they have A TON of rugs on sale right now. I wish I had more rooms to buy rugs because then I would buy this one and this one. I know like this sounds like an ad for rugs, but I just really like rugs. I think I may do a blog post about it soon and how to set the tone for your room with a beautiful rug.
OMG you guys. One of my close friends had her little baby boy yesterday! I watched on as her and her husband tried to get pregnant for 2 years then finally did and she gave birth to a healthy little guy yesterday. I haven’t had many of my own friends get pregnant or give birth yet so this is so exciting to see, especially since they live just down the street from us. It’s just so cool to watch people who want a child so badly to finally have that beautiful little baby in their lives. I’m so dang happy for them! And I know you don’t know them and probably don’t give AF but I had to congratulate Ben and Sarah!
Ok, enough about babies and rugs. Go make this recipe. You’re going to love it!
For the Picadillo
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2/3 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup green olives, halved
- 1/3 cup raisins
For the plantain layers
- 4 medium ripe (brown) plantains, peeled and cut in half
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup melted ghee
- salt, to taste
- roughly chopped cilantro, to garnish
- lime wedges, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
- Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, add ground beef to brown and break into pieces.
- Once almost cooked through, add onion, bell pepper, oregano, cumin, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and let cook for about 10 minutes.
- Then add tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, vinegar, olives and raisins, mix well then cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
- While picadillo cooks, fill large saucepan with water and place over medium-high heat to bring to boil. Once water is boiling, add plantains and cook for 8-10 minutes, until completely soft. Drain.
- Place plantains in a food processor along with egg, ghee and salt and blend until completely smooth and combined.
- Scoop 1/2 of the plantain puree into the greased baking dish and spread evenly throughout. Then top the plantain mixture with the picadillo, spread evenly and top the picadillo with the rest of the plantain mixture.
- Place in oven to bake for 20 minutes. Once cooked through, let rest for 10 minutes to set before slicing and serving up with lime wedges and cilantro!
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