Friday, July 20, 2012

Get in touch with your Rican: How to make Pastelon

Long time no blog!  Ok so I've been a busy body as usual but I have been cooking/baking up storms in my kitchen...just no time to blog about them!  I will make sure to find time before I kick back up with ROTC in August.

So one of my husband's favorite dishes is called Pastelon (pronounced paust-teh-lone).  The ingredients are quite simple but it is a long a tedious process.  I call this a weekend dish because it can easily take an hour and half to two hours to make by oneself.

Now forgive me for my photos.  I've made this several times but picked my best photos from each to show you the process.

These are the explicit tools you will need:
10" skillet
pot (to cook ground beef)
12" skillet (for frying)
tongs or fork (I use both!)
basting brush
a roll of paper towels
1 cookie sheet

And your ingredients:
1lb of ground beef
2 cups of shredded cheese
1 raw egg scrambled
5-6 sweet plantains
 (make sure the plantains are yellow on the outside and a little soft when pressed)
2 cups of oil (to start)
1 tbs of Adobo seasoning
1/4 cup of Goya Sofrito
1 envelope of Goya Sazon
1 bulb of garlic minced
4 olives sliced

The first thing I do is cook the sweet plantains. Get your 12" skillet ready with 1 cup of oil heating on medium.  Also take your cookie sheet and place two layers of paper towels down on it.

1. First you have to peel the skin.  I cut off both ends first and then peel.  
2. Once all the plantains are peeled begin to slice them the long way about 1/8 inch in thickness.
3. Once all your slices are ready to fry, start placing them in your 12" skillet.  Each side should fry about 2-3 minutes.  Stay on top of them though, you don't want them to burn, just slightly golden and soft. Use your tongs and/or fork to flip them gently.
4. After frying both sides, carefully move the slices of plantain from the frying pan to the cookie sheet to let the slices dry.  Once you run out of room, do another two layers of paper towels on top of those slices and keep stacking.

Once all your slices are done frying, set them aside to cool and begin on the ground meat.  Take your pot and set it on medium heat.  

5.Place your ground beef in the pot with begin to mash and mix your Adobo seasoning into the meat.
******I love using the Mix 'N Chop from Pampered Chef for this!  Grinds of the meat just perfectly while mixing the seasonings in!******
6. After the meat is fully cooked, drain out the fat and place the meat back into the pot.  Change the heat from medium to low.
7. Take your envelope of Sazon, the Sofrito, the minced garlic, and the olives and mix them into the meat.
8. Let this cook for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Now comes the tricky part!  Molding your Pastelon into that beautiful pie shape!

9.  Take your 10" skillet and place it on medium low heat.  Start taking your plantain slices and forming a sort of crust around your skillet.
10.  Once you have a nice layer of "crust", take your basting brush, dip it into your egg wash, and baste  the plantains.  This will act as a glue to keep the plantains together.
It will look like this, but remember to create the side of the crust as well.  (This is just the bottom):
11.  Next you will take a handful of shredded cheese a spread it on top of the plantains.  (Another way to "glue" your plantains together)
12.  Take your warm ground been and fill your plantain crust evenly.

13. Next, take the rest of your shredded cheese and spread it evenly on top of the ground beef.

14. Lastly, take your remaining pieces of plantain slices and cover the top like a pie crust.
15.  Take you brush and baste the top with egg wash.
16.  Cover it and let it cook for 5 - 10 minutes until the egg wash is cooked.

It should look like this:

Once, it's all cooked, you can now flip it onto a big serving plate!  This is the easiest part.
Make sure to have an oven mit for this though!  Place your serving place over the top of the skillet. Take your skillet and pan together and then…FLIP!  Viola…you have yourself an authentic Puerto Rican tasting Pastelon!


I must warn, this is not an easy dish to make.  It took me several tries after making it one time with my aunt.  But trust me, this indulgence is definitely worth it.  A perfect combination of savory and sweet for dinner!  I serve with rice, and steamed veggies.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...