YOU GOTTA TRY THIS!

So a couple days ago I was at the grocery store and saw a mountain of plantains beckoning me. I’ve never actually tried them before but I’ve seen a lot of recipes floating around in the blog world with fried plantains. My logic was – I love bananas so I’ll probably love plantains.

I would describe plantains as a more savory cousin of the banana… almost like a potato and banana had a baby. Anyways my intentions were to make some plantains fried in coconut oil as a little treat. Then I started seeing all these recipes for plantain curries and ways to use them with meat. So I settled on Pastelón. Except that the original recipe uses cheese and we all know that’s not whole30 friendly so I just skipped that part. Let me tell you – it was still really delicious! I’ve never had anything like this dish so I think that was partly why I was drawn to it – I like trying new and exciting things.

Pastelón is a traditional Puerto Rican dish where they take ripe plantains, fry them and use them for noodles in a lasagna. A perfect paleo package! Do ensure that your plantains are extremely ripe. One of mine was medium ripe and it just wasn’t as good. I had to change it around quite a bit though as I don’t have or like olives (blech!), nor did I have adobo, saizon, or safrito. I apologize in advance to any Puerto Ricans who are offended by my heathen dish but in my defense… it’s really freakin good!

Also in the future, I foresee a day of plantain chip making bonanza. I had a couple nibbles of some of the “noodles” – heavenly!

I mean look at the way they caramelize! Brown and warm and gooey. Yum.

I know I say this all the time but – this might just be my new favorite thing. Ever.

Warm beef, peppered with sweet raisins all nestled in between two rich plantain noodles – you want it. Admit it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs ground beef – extra lean if it isn’t organic folks!
  • 3-4 extremely ripe plantains
  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced (I love my garlic!)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 a bunch chopped cilantro – I never know how to communicate to others how much cilantro/parsley to use. I mean really, a cup doesn’t mean much when you can cram a pound of cilantro in there… so I say just use you judgement/taste preference.
  • 2 t oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 3-4 T coconut oil/clarified butter/fat of choice
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8 square lasagna pan with  1 T fat of choice and set aside.
  2. Combine 2 cloves garlic, all spices except bay leaves, and the beef, cilantro and onion. Mix with your hands and make sure it’s all mixed well.
  3. Heat up 1 -2 T oil in pan and add garlic. Let it get fragrant and then add the meat. You want to brown the meat and make sure it’s nice and crumbly. Be sure to use a big enough pan! I had to do mine in batches… grumble grumble.
  4. Once the meat is nice and brown, add the rest of the garlic, tomato paste, raisins, and bay leaves. Let it simmer on low – you want to let the spices mellow through the meat.
  5. While the meat is simmer, cut your plantains up into thin, noodle sized slices (1/8″ strips). This is trickier than it sounds when they’re ripe! So I suggest you buy more in case you have less noodles.
  6. Heat up a different pan and add 1 T coconut oil. I would strongly suggest coconut oil here over anything else because it pairs so nicely with the ripe plantain flavor. Fry the slices for a couple minutes on each side on medium high heat. They should be nice and golden brown and smell amazing – that’s how you know they’re done. You have to stop yourself from eating one from the pan ;)
  7. I let them sit on a paper towel to drain the excess oil – everything in moderation!
  8. Whip you eggs and if you want – you can add a couple T of coconut milk to make them extra rich here.
  9. Time to layer your lasagna! Start with a layer of plantains, then meat, then eggs. You want to end with a layer of plantains. If there’s meat left over – awesome! Guess what you can have for breakfast tomorrow with some sweet potatoes and eggs you lucky duck?
  10. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Seriously, go out and make this… NOW.

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