I found this interesting lasagna-type dish at my company cafe. It was new to me, but not to the Puerto Rican folk as it is basically a “Puerto Rican Lasagna” called Pastelón. I found this recipe – with photos – at another great food blog, The Noshery, here. I had made some adjustments to the cheeses and did not add raisins, but added sun-dried tomatoes for that same sweetness and texture.
As taken from The Noshery with a few alterations (for efficiency, healthiness and flavor!):
- 1 lbs ground lean 7% beef
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 tbs garlic, minced
- 1 green pepper, minced
- 1/2 chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp Adobo
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 envelope Sazón
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 green stuffed olives, halved
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (can use raisins also)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 4 plantains, peeled and sliced into strips
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbs evaporated milk
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- few slices Queso Blanco
- olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter square pan with 1 tbs of butter.
Combine, beef, onion, pepper, garlic, cilantro, adobo, oregano, vinegar and sazon. Mix well.
Heat a large skillet at medium-high heat with 2 Tbs of olive oil, add meat mixture.
Cook beef until brown and of the juices bubble up, add bay leaves, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato sauce. Mix and let simmer for 10 minutes, set aside.
Heat a large frying pan with olive oil, just enough to coat the bottom. Fry sliced plantains (I got about 4 slices long-ways per plantain) for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and slightly crispy. Drain on a plate with a paper towel, set aside.
To assemble pastelón: Take your prepared square pan, start with a layer of plantains, then beef, then a fistful of cheese and crumbled Queso Blanco, repeat. You want to finish with cheese and plantains. Beat 3 eggs with 2 Tbs of milk, pour over the pastelón. Let it sit for a minute allowing the egg to soak in. Top off with just a bit more cheese.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
YUM! TIP: A small piece WILL fill you up, giving you plenty of leftovers!