Shepherd's pie with a twist (or two)! Savory Plantain Pie borrows its flavors from the filling for a Peruvian classic - papa rellena (stuffed potato). The slightly sweet filling features ground meat (minced portobellos, tofu, or chick peas for a vegetarian variation), black or green olives, golden raisins, aji amarillo or aji panca, peas, and shredded carrots. It all gets topped off with a roasted and mashed plantain crust!
You forget what you want to remember,
and you remember what you want to forget.
~~ Cormack McCarthy.
Yes. Especially at age 58. Documenting our month in Peru via my blog is a strategy... I don't want to forget the sights, smells, and sounds of that beautiful place. So here we are again - another recipe inspired by our month in Peru! A few weeks ago I published a recipe for a Creamy Tomato Bisque Peruvian-Style - a companion recipe to this one. Both dishes were part of a tasty menu during our stop in Mandor on our trek to Machu Pichu...
The inspiration dish was a yuca-banana fritter stuffed with a flavor-packed ground meat mixture. I believe my ground meat mixture gets quite close to the original. After an epic fail or two with the mash/fry concept, I started thinking it might not be the best approach. We don't eat much fried food to begin with, and I always hate the clean up. 😡 Do you? We tend to watch our carbs pretty closely, and the ratio of protein to carbs in a fritter is pretty low. I decided to proceed with a pie. This allows for a nice layer on top, but the ratio of protein to carbs is much higher! A very thin layer of panko toasted with a bit of oil gives a satisfying crunch to the dish... almost like fried!
The first couple of attempts, I stuck with the yuca-banana combination. We loved the flavor combo, but the yuca starch reminded me of glue. I just couldn't get past the texture! I decided to try other options, and was super happy with both flavor and texture of the plantains. Given my affinity for roasting, I opted to slice the plantains lengthwise and roast them with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of my sal de Maras (Peruvian salt). I then mash them with a banana and taste for seasoning. This topping works beautifully with the salty, sweet, savory flavors in the ground meat mixture. While the casserole bakes, the panko gets a quick toast with a bit of
coconut oil, and then added to the ramekins during the last 10 minutes in the oven. Delicioso!
Savory Plantain Pie pairs perfectly with Passionfruit Vinaigrette with Greens and Roasted Beets and a crisp, un-oaked dry white wine such as a torrontes or sauvignon blanc. You've got to try this one!
I really don't discuss salt with you very often, but it seems appropriate with this post. I must admit to a bit of an obsession with artisan salts. I collect them like I collect wine and chocolate. You won't find Morton "iodized" at Andersen casa. 😀 As I mentioned earlier, I sprinkled the plantains with sal de Maras just prior to roasting them. I actually brought home 4 different salts from Maras - each with different flavors. The salt harvested from the terraces is a pink salt, and completely natural. My favorite is a huacatay (Peruvian black mint) and salt blend, and is the one selected for my plantains. What salt(s) do you use, and why? I'd love to hear from you!
Savory Plantain Pie
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
- ½ medium onion - finely chopped
- 1 pound ground meat - (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar - (see notes)
- ¼ cup chicken broth/stock
- ¼ cup green olives - chopped
- ¼ cup golden raisins - plumped
- ¼ cup carrot - shredded
- 1-2 tablespoons aji amarillo paste - (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt - taste for seasoning
- several grinds pepper
- 2 plantains - peeled, sliced lengthwise
- olive oil or coconut oil - to drizzle
- sea salt (or other)
- 1 banana - firm not mushy!
- ½ lime - juiced
- dairy or non-dairy milk or cream - (I use coconut creamer)
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper - to taste
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or coconut oil
- ½ cup panko - (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 degrees convection bake).
- Place plantain slices cut side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in hot oven. Cook until very tender and caramelized (about 20 minutes).
- While plantains roast, add to a large pot or dutch oven, the ground meat and olive oil. Over medium high heat, break up ground meat, add the onion and garlic, and cook until meat is browned.
- Add the cumin and sherry (or other vinegar). Stir to loosen browned bits. Add the broth/stock, olives, raisins, shredded carrot, and aji amarillo paste. Stir to combine, and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally.
- Make the topping. When the plantains are very soft, add to a medium mixing bowl. Add banana and lime juice, and mash with a potato masher. Mixture doesn't need to be completely smooth. Add milk/cream to desired consistency, and season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the Savory Plantain Pie. Divide the meat mixture between the 4 ramekins/casseroles. Top each with a layer of mashed plantains.
- Place in a hot oven. Make the panko crumbs while they start cooking.
- Toast the panko with the oil in a skillet on medium high until crumbs are browned.
- Spoon toasted crumbs over the casseroles. Continue baking for a total of 25 minutes.
- Remember the casseroles are hot! I serve them on a hot pad with strict reminders... Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.