Delicious Dominican Cuisine

A Buen Tiempo... Buen Provecho! ;)

Dominican style Sweet Plantain Casserole/Pastelon de Platano Maduro


Pastelon is a type of casserole that can be made in many different ways.  For this dish, some people use mashed plantains or fried plantains, others add raisins and boiled eggs to the ground beef.  I prefer to omit the raisins and boiled eggs and use a combination of mashed and fried.  The end result is really tasty and a bit more figure friendly. :)

You can play around with it and adjust the recipe to your liking, but give this method a try!  It’s usually a hit when I serve it in my family and it makes an excellent casserole for a party.

To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

8 Ripe Yellow Plantains
3 – 4 lbs Ground Beef
~2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp Ground Oregano
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 Lime
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Small Onion
1 Small Red Bell Pepper
1 Small Green Bell Pepper
2 Aji Gustoso
2 tbsp Spanish olives
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
4 Eggs
1 tbsp Butter (or Margarine)
2 Cups of Cheddar Cheese
1/2 – 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Olive Oil

Let’s begin by seasoning the ground beef.  Before we start, the meat looks a little dark in some areas and that’s because it was frozen then I let it defrost in the fridge for a couple of days.  It’s still good, but I just wanted to point that out first. :)

Also, when cooking ground beef, it’s better to get the leanest ground beef available because as it cooks less grease will be released in the pan.  Although, the leaner the meat the more expensive it is, but if you decide to use meat that is not lean you can always scoop out the excess grease.  For this dish I am using 85% lean beef, but sometimes you can find beef that is up to 95% lean.

Add 1 tsp of salt to the meat,

Then add some ground black pepper,

Add the oregano,

Then add the garlic powder,

Then add the coriander,

Add the cumin,

And last, but not least, squeeze the juice of one lime over the meat,

Then mix well (with clean hands for better results, or a fork) and let it hang out for atleast 2 hours (overnight for more flavor) in the fridge before cooking.

To begin making the pastelon, take a medium pot and fill it halfway with fresh water, then put it on the stove on high heat.

Then take 4 plantains and peel them to add to the water.  To peel them, cut the ends off,

Then run the tip of the knife and cut a thin line through the skin of the plantain,

Then pull the skin away from the plantains,

It will be firmer than a banana, but the  skin peels away very easily,

Take the plantains and cut them in half,

Then take each half and slice it into two slices through the middle,

Then take the cut the plantains and add them into the pot and let them come up to a boil,

While the plantains come up to a boil, let’s cook the ground beef.

Take a large skillet and add 2 tbsp of olive oil put on medium high heat and add the chopped garlic,

While the garlic cooks, finely chop the onion then add it to the skillet along with a pinch of salt and saute,

Then finely chop the bell peppers and the habanero chiles,

Aji gustoso can be hard to find sometimes, so you may omit them.

I love using aji gustoso in many of my dishes because they enhance the flavor.  Just make sure to not use the ones that are hot (usually the red ones) because they are very spicy!

So, to continue, take the chiles and finely chop them,

Then add them to the skillet along with the chopped bell peppers and stir,

Then take the Spanish olives and give them a rough chop,

Add them to the skillet and stir.  Then take about 2 tbsp of the Spanish olive liquid from the bottle and add to the skillet,

Let the vegetables cook for a couple of minuets, then add the ground beef to the skillet and stir,

At this point, the plantains must be boiling, add some salt about 1 tbsp, then let them boil until they are fork tender.

Back to the ground beef, continue stirring breaking down the ground beef so that it doesn’t cook in big chunks,

As it cooks the meat will release some liquid,

Let it cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tomato paste and stir well to dissolve it,

I usually add about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of salt at this point and stir,

Let the meat cook until all of the juices have reduced and the meat starts to “fry” in the oil.

At this point, the plantains should be fork tender,

Turn the heat off and set aside.

When the beef’s liquid has reduced and it’s getting darker in color as it cooks in the oil, it’s ready so turn the heat off.

I like to scoop the excess grease from the meat so that the pastelon is not drenched in it as it bakes.  One method I like to use is to pile the beef on one side of the skillet, then take a small kitchen towel and fold it and put it on an a cool area like a heat safe counter top or unheated stove top.

Then take the skillet and put it on the folded towel so that it’s at an angle and the grease accumulates on the bottom end of the skillet,

Even at 85% lean, see how much grease the meat releases?  All of that grease accumulates at the bottom of the pastelon and makes the bottom layer of the plantains very oily.  Let the skillet hang out at this angle for a few minutes and then scoop the grease out. Set the meat aside for later use.

Before assembling the pastelon, we have to cook the remaining plantains.  take a medium pan and add the vegetable oil, enough to coat it by about 1/8 of an inch. Put the heat on medium high.

While the oil is heating up, take the remaining 4 plantains, peel them then cut each one in half,

Then take each half and cut it into slices (about 3 – 4 slices each),

When all of the plantains are peeled and sliced, the oil should be ready.  Add enough slices so that they cook lightly (do not over crowd the pan),

Let them cook for about 3 – 4 minutes then flip them over, the cooked side should be golden brown,

Let them cook for a few minutes until the other side is golden brown. Then transfer to a cookie sheet that is lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  Cook the remaining plantain slices.

When they are all cooked sprinkle a pinch of salt on them.

Set aside the fried plantains for later use. :)

Take the boiled plantains and drain them, then add about 1/4 tsp of salt,

Then add the butter (or margarine),

Then mash and incorporate all of the ingredients well,

Add a splash of water (about 1/4 cup) to make the plantains a little creamier,

Mash until the plantains are smooth and creamy,

Now comes the fun part, assembling the pastelon! :)   First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take a medium sized baking dish, the one I’m using is 13x9x2 (3Q), then pour the mashed plantains into it,

Spread the mashed plantains on the baking dish into an even layer,

Then pour all of the meat to make the second layer of the pastelon,

I love a meaty pastelon so the meat layer is very thick, just pack it in with spoon or spatula,

After layering the meat, take the fried plantains and lay them over the meat,

Usually 4 plantains renders more than enough slices to coat the meat, you might have some slices left over but I find that some just magically disappear (well not magically haha ;) ) during the assembly stage….

Now we have to separate the egg whites from the yolk.  Give each egg a tap, then gently open the egg to release the egg white into a bowl,

Pour the egg on your partially opened fingers and let the remaining egg whites go into the bowl while the yolk stays on your hand,

Put the yolks in a separate bowl,

Beat the egg whites with a whisk or a fork for a couple of minutes until they start to get fluffy,

Then beat the egg yolks into the egg whites one by one,

When all the eggs have been beaten, pour over the pastelon coating all of the plantain and meat,

Then add a layer of cheese over the top of the pastelon.  I usually buy the cheese already shredded that comes with white and yellow cheddar.  You may use a different type of cheese, I have tried mozzarella as well but I find that cheddar works best for this dish.

Once the pastelon is thoroughly covered in cheese transfer to the preheated oven (350 degrees),

Let it bake for about 45 minutes until the cheese has melted and formed a nice crust on the top.

Let it cool for about 20 – 30 minutes before cutting.  Pastelon is like a lasagna, you need to let it rest because if you cut it when it’s piping hot, it will become a runny mess.

I recommend you serve it with a nice side salad, yum! :)

Buen Provecho! ;)

31 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. josephine daise

     /  June 2, 2012

    I will try making it next Sunday for my grandchildren because I love it

    Reply
  2. aracelis

     /  July 2, 2012

    Plantain casserole

    Reply
  3. anabel Alvarex

     /  July 8, 2012

    Hoy hice el pastelon pero se quemo porque en la receta no dice cual es la temperatura que havia que ponerlo en el horno please Edit the recipe and ADD the temperature for the oven thank you

    Reply
  4. irma

     /  August 2, 2012

    send me a recipe that i canincorporate the plantains in a lasagna pasta dish if you have one.

    Thank you
    Iris

    Reply
  5. michelle

     /  August 23, 2012

    mmmmm

    Reply
  6. Gabi

     /  August 28, 2012

    Best pastelon recipe I’ve seen!!

    Reply
  7. Diana Marin

     /  October 4, 2012

    Will try this tomorrow ;) Gracias

    Reply
  8. Millie Trevino

     /  November 10, 2012

    I love this version of the Pastelon com platanos maduros and I’m actually making it for dinner tonight! Thanks a million!!

    Reply
  9. Gina

     /  November 12, 2012

    Made it for my family and co-workers and it came out fantastic! Very flavorful & colorful dish!

    Reply
  10. adriana

     /  November 19, 2012

    Gracias por tan detallada receta. La pienso preparar este Jueves de Accion de gracias

    Mucha graciasy bendiciones

    Reply
  11. Nanillz1

     /  November 22, 2012

    Made this from your recipe and it was a big hit!

    Reply
  12. Yessy

     /  December 10, 2012

    Thank you so much..im surprising my whole family with this dish on christmas day..they been dteaming for Dominican style pastelon…

    Reply
  13. Maria

     /  February 7, 2013

    Hola, que hermosa combinancion de ingredientes para crear un plato delicioso.
    Es primera vez la combinacion de platano blando y frito. Quisiera intentar la receta pero tengo miedo que la capa de platano frito no sea suficiente gruesa para abrazar la carne. Que me dices? Tambien quisiera saber el papel de los huevos en la receta.

    Thank you for the yummy dish.

    Reply
  14. I made this, it was awsome……I will sure make again

    Reply
  15. Amy Elliott Polanco

     /  March 8, 2013

    I have only been able to have this wonderful dish if I buy it from my local Spanish grocery/restaurant. I can’t wait to so surprise my sweetie with this amazing recipe tomorrow! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the great pictures. Don’t stop posting. I love trying everything you make.

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      Amy,
      Thank you, stay tuned because I’m back and more recipes are soon to follow! :)
      - Janet

      Reply
  16. Annamarie

     /  March 28, 2013

    Oh em gee. Your recipes look so gooood!

    Reply
  17. Stephanie

     /  April 6, 2013

    This recipe is so perfect. Supplementing the beef with seitan, and using vegan cheese, I made a vegan sweet plaintain casserole! It worked out so perfectly, and was absolutely delicious. Better than when my mother use to make it when I was little, but shhhhh, don’t tell her that! Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  April 6, 2013

      Stephanie,
      That’s so awesome that you were able to alter it to make it vegan, how creative of you. I am glad that you enjoyed the recipe! :)
      - Janet

      Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  April 11, 2013

      Stephanie,
      That’s so awesome that you were able to convert this recipe into a vegan one! Thanks for the tips, I don’t have many vegan recipes since I was raised by a herd of carnivores lol!
      - Janet

      Reply
  18. Sena

     /  April 15, 2013

    Anabel you didn’t read the recipe carefully, that’s why it burned. It clearly says bake in preheated oven ( 350 degrees) for 45 minutes until cheese is melted and formed a nice crust on top. Try it again, I’m sure it’ll come out better next time :)

    Reply
  19. Odaliz

     /  April 18, 2013

    Hello, I absolutely love your recipes. I missed my DR food, and with your help I have been able to make the majority of the dishes using the easy to follow steps you provide with the pictures. I do have a question, I notice that recently the pictures are not displaying and instead it reads: “Look who’s Popular. Is this your photo? Upgrade to Plus for additional bandwidth. Photobucket”. Any idea what is going on?

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  April 18, 2013

      Odaliz,
      I apologize for that, I upgraded the photobucket account to have more bandwidth so the pictures should be up again. Thanks for coming by the blog! :)
      - Janet

      Reply
  20. CW

     /  April 19, 2013

    I made this dish using your steps, it came out amazing!

    Reply
  21. CSG

     /  May 11, 2013

    This sounds wonderful. Can I make it ahead of time and then bake it on the day of my party?

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  May 13, 2013

      CSG,
      Yes you can certainly make it ahead of time have it ready to bake. You will have to bake it a little longer since the insides will be very cold though.
      - Janet

      Reply
  22. CSG

     /  May 30, 2013

    Thank you, Janet, for sharing such delicious recipes. I made your Dominican Style Sweet Plantain Casserole, Green Salad and Honey Almond Cookies for my book club after we read “Feast of the Goat” by Mario Vargas LLosa. The dinner was a big hit. You made it possible with your easy-to-follow recipes!

    Reply
  23. Michelle

     /  June 11, 2013

    OMG these recipes have saved my relationship!!! Lol, my boyfriend is Dominican and he didn’t like the usual dishes I made so I came upon your site and he loves my cooking now!!! So far the only failure was the mofongo but everything else I tried has been great!!!

    I was wondering if you know the recipe to this corn dish that ends up with a flan texture minus the extra juice, it is usually made with raisins as well.

    Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  June 12, 2013

      Michelle,
      I am glad that they are working well for you guys. :) Remember the mofongo one is not a traditional mofongo recipe, so maybe that’s why he was put off by it since the name can be deceiving.
      I am not sure which dish you are talking about, is it majarete??
      - Janet

      Reply
  24. Liz

     /  March 16, 2014

    Can hardly wait to try this for my mom’s funeral in 2 weeks.

    Reply

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