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Pastelón

Photo: Greg Dupree, Food Styling: Torie Cox, Prop Styling: Lindsey Lower

Hands On time 30 mins
Total time 1 hr
Yield

Serves 6 (serving size: 1 square)

This hearty and comforting dish is just like a savory lasagna made complete with delicious Latin spices. The flavor profile is slightly sweet, salty, and spicy all at the same time, which culminates into one truly delicious flavor experience.  A great accompaniment to this dish would be to serve it with warm tortillas and a green salad. This warm and delicious dish is the epitome of a comfort food experience. 

Ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 4 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced into 14-inch strips
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about 1 onion)
  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (about 1 bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (.18-oz.) envelope sazón seasoning sin Achiote (without Annatto)
  • 2 teaspoons adobo seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 8 pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 12 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 3 cups), divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add one-third of plantain strips, and fry until golden brown and slightly crispy, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure 2 more times with 4 tablespoons of the oil and remaining plantain strips. Wipe skillet clean.

  2. Stir together ground sirloin, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, sazón seasoning, adobo seasoning, and oregano in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high; add ground sirloin mixture, and cook, stirring often, until beef is browned and vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in olives, tomato sauce, raisins, and bay leaves; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove and discard bay leaves.

  3. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Layer one-third of plantain slices on bottom of pan. Top with half of sirloin mixture and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining one-third of plantain slices.

  4. Whisk together eggs and milk in a small bowl. Slowly pour egg mixture over casserole. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.

  5. Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown and mixture is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 squares.