Puerto Rican Shepherd Pie (Pastelon)


  • 1onion, cut into chunks
  • 1green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch culantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (1.41 ounce) package sazon seasoning
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch adobo seasoning, or to taste
  • olive oil
  • 8ripe plantains, peeled and cut on the bias
  • 4eggs, beaten
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans green beans, drained
  • 4eggs, beaten
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    To make sofrito: Place the onion, bell pepper, parsley, cilantro, culantro, garlic, and water into a blender. Cover, and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


  • Step 2

    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in the ground beef. Cook and stir until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Stir in 2 tablespoons of sofrito into the beef, then season with sazon, pepper, and adobo. Drain and discard any excess grease; set aside.

  • Step 3

    Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Step 4

    Heat a skillet over medium heat. Arrange the plantains in the skillet and pan fry until golden and softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Layer half of the plantains in a deep baking dish, making sure to cover the entire bottom of the dish. Pour 4 beaten eggs over the plantains, then spread the beef on top. Layer the green beans over the beef, then arrange the remaining plantains on top. Pour 4 more beaten eggs evenly over the plantains. Sprinkle the top with adobo seasoning.

  • Step 5

    Bake in the preheated oven until the eggs are firm, 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Cook's Note:

    You can find adobo and sazon seasoning in the Mexican aisle of most grocery stores. You may also find premade sofrito.


    Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

    Editor's Note:

    Culantro is a tropical herb also known as recao.

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