Pastelón | A Puerto Rican Lasagna

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!):

Pastelón

  • 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
  • salt

Preparation
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!

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