Foods from the Dominican Republic: Pastelon de platano
Yield: 8 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1 pound beef, minced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 bell pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cilantro or parsely, chopped
6 plantains, very ripe
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Method of Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a one-inch deep baking pan.
2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Stir in onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add minced meat, cooking and breaking it into small pieces until it browns.
3. Add tomato sauce, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Stir and cover. Simmer for three minutes.
4. Add cilantro. Taste and season if necessary. Remove from the heat.
5. Peel plantains and boil in salted water. Once the plantains are very tender, remove from heat.
6. Remove plantains from water and place into a bowl. Using a fork, mash the plantains, then add butter and continue mashing until very smooth. Place half of the plantain mixture into baking pan. Cover with a half cup of the cheese. Layer with all of the meat. Cover with remaining plantain mixture and cheese.
7. Bake until the top is golden brown.
Chef’s Note: When Pastelón is finished baking, remove from oven and allow to rest for five minutes before slicing.