Mi Primer Pastelón (& Picadillo for that matter.)

Considering the fact that I love ground beef, I cannot explain how I haven’t gotten around to this sooner.  I mean, I grew up eating all types of Latin Caribbean food, so I really have no excuse.  Tarde pero seguro.

Please and by the way, I’m not interested in using turkey ground as a substitute.  Yes, I know it’s healthier (yawn) but then, that’s why I’m eating more chicken and fish.  I guess I don’t need replacement killers (as in my joy.)  So, moving on…

18274894_778838655617635_590222487593621237_n

I did however choose to drain my beef of excess grease but saved some of it for the sauté step in place of the Canola oil because I’M NOT CRAZY.  (We all know the fat is where it’s at.)

Although I have family and friends to school me, I still like to watch YouTube tutorials because I can refer to them at a moment’s notice.  Plus, I’m the type that needs to study things from beginning to end until I’m comfortable and most videos are thorough.  Such as the Freakin Rican Restaurant channel that eventually crossed my Internet path.  There was an image of a heaping plate of something topped with cheese that first caught my attention.  It was a slice of Pastelón which led to Picadillo (because the former needs the latter.)

FYI: If you’re not familiar, almost all recipes will require a Sofrito base and everyone has their own version. Thankfully, my grandma already taught me how.  By the way, the hardest part has been finding those little sweet peppers (Ají dulce) so unfortunately, my batch has had to do without them once in a while.  Still, it’s better than any store-bought kind. I’m sure you know nothing beats fresh.  But hey, if you don’t have the patience for this type of thing, the Freaking Rican’s website has got you covered and is prepared to ship.

So, my amateur errors include having less than 2 lbs of beef but still working with same ratio for the powder seasoning as I forgot to adjust them.  So, the beef had a saltier touch.  The upside is that the plantains were beyond ripe (black on the outside) and thus, once combined helped to counteract.  Amen.  I’m relieved that I will not be adding this to my disaster menu of mistakes.  It was sweeter than sweet and good enough to eat.

18238896_778854062282761_3172104999355253637_oAnother issue was that even though I also used 4 plantains, I suppose they were on the small size because I barely managed two layers into the pan.

A final variation was sliced mozzarella (it’s just handy when I’m too tired to shred cheese myself .)  Since I didn’t have enough of a balance between meat and plantains, I put the extra meat away to simply serve over white rice tomorrow.

I must admit that my shallow layers do look rather weird.  Almost like garlic knots. Nevertheless, the taste was right for my very first time out the gate.

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