Baked Piñón

(Piñón al Horno)

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Last year, I discovered a new and delicious version of Piñón when I visited a restaurant in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.   It was listed on their menu as Baked PiñónThe Baked Piñón was served in individual serving pans.  It was prepared with pieces of fried ripe plantain, chunks of ground beef and sprinkled with cheese.   No beaten eggs or string beans were added to this dish.  It was the best Baked Piñón I have ever tasted so I decided to create my own version.  What a great combination when you taste the sweetness of the plantains along with the saltiness of the meat mixture and cheese.

For your information, the traditional Piñón was cooked on top of the stove after layering the skillet with beaten eggs, plantain slices, string beans and meat mixture.    

Preparing the Meat Mixture!

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.   Add 2 tablespoons of sofrito made with culantro. 

Click on the links on How to Prepare a Large Batch of Sofrito and/or How to Make Sofrito for a Single Meal.

NOTE:  For this recipe, I will be using ground turkey.  Therefore, I would recommend reducing the olive oil to 1 tablespoon if you prefer to use ground beef.

Continue with 3 minced garlic cloves, ¼ cup of chopped onions, 3 sprigs of chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon of lite salt or to taste, ⅓ cup of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of paprika (to add color) and 1½ teaspoons of adobo without salt. 

Stir all the ingredients until well blended and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.  

We can now add 1½ pounds of ground turkey.  Stir the ground turkey until it is completely coated with the tomato-oil based sauce.  Cover skillet with lid and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

 

After 5 minutes of cooking, stir the meat.  Cover skillet with lid and cook for approximately 25 to 30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. 

NOTE:  Since we want the meat to remain in chunks, we need to limit the frequency of stirring the ground turkey. 

The meat mixture is done after 30 minutes of cooking.  You can see the chunks of meat in the skillet.   Place in a bowl and set aside.  

Peeling and Cutting the Ripe Plantains!

This is a ripe plantain.  The flesh is slightly firm with yellow skin color that has several dark spots.  The plantain is a member of the banana family but is much thicker and starchier than the familiar banana.    For this recipe, you will need 3 ripe plantains. 

With a sharp knife, cut off both ends.

Make a slit lengthwise barely touching the flesh from top to bottom.

Peel the plantain.

Lastly, cut the plantain into ½-inch diagonal slices.  One plantain will yield 5 to 8 slices, depending on the size of the plantain.

Sautéing the Ripe Plantains for the Baked Piñón!

Baked Piñón

In a 3-quart saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of margarine made with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.   Place the plantain slices into saucepan once the margarine has melted.  Sauté until they have a golden-brown color on both sides.

Baked Piñón

As the plantain slices brown on one side, turn them over to brown on the other side.

Baked Piñón

All the plantain slices will not brown at the same time.  Therefore, when the plantain slices become golden brown on both sides, remove them from saucepan and place on a cutting board.

Cutting the Cooked Plantain Slices into Smaller Pieces!

Baked Piñón

With a sharp knife, cut each plantain slice into smaller pieces.   Continue this process for all the plantain slices.

Baked Piñón

When done cutting all the plantain slices, place them in a bowl and set aside.  For this recipe, I sautéed at least 24 plantain slices.

Shredding Gouda Cheese for the Baked Piñón!

Shred 1 pound of Gouda cheese or the cheese of your preference.  Gouda cheese is a Dutch cheese and is very popular in Puerto Rico.  It melts well due to its high fat content. 

Assembling the Piñón!

Baked Piñón

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Layer the bottom of baking pan, measuring 8 X 8 X 2 inches, with half of the cooked plantain pieces.

Baked Piñón

Add half of the meat mixture on top and spread evenly.

Baked Piñón

Cover the meat mixture with shredded Gouda cheese.   You can also adjust the quantity of cheese.

Baked Piñón

Repeat this process by adding another layer of the remaining cooked plantains.

Baked Piñón

Place the remaining meat mixture on top of cooked plantains.

Baked Piñón

We just assembled the Piñón with the last layer of Gouda cheese.  Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at 350°F or until the cheese is completely melted.

Baking and Serving the Baked Piñón!

Baked Piñón

We are done baking our Piñón and it looks delicious.

Baked Piñón

You can see all the different layers in the Baked Piñón.  Serve this dish with white rice and stewed beans or with a salad.  What a great combination for a sweet and savory dish!

NOTE:  You can also add the ingredients of your preference and/or increase or decrease the quantity of each ingredient listed.

Click on the button below to watch my YouTube Video on How to Prepare Baked Piñón!

Recipe and Nutritional Facts!

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only.  Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information!

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Baked Piñón


  • Author: Aida's Kitchen®
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Description

A plantain meat pie layered with cooked plantain pieces, chunks of meat mixture and shredded cheese for a sweet and savory dish!  I discovered this dish while visiting a restaurant in Puerto Rico.   It was so delicious that I decided to create my own version.


Scale

Ingredients

Meat Mixture:

  • pounds ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons of sofrito made with culantro
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 3 sprigs chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lite salt or to taste
  • ⅓ cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika (to add color)
  • 1½ teaspoons of adobo without salt

Preparing Ripe Plantains:

  • 3 ripe plantains, peeled and cut into ½-inch diagonal slices
  • 4 tablespoons margarine made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cheese for Meat Pie

  • 1 pound shredded Gouda cheese

Instructions

  1.  Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.   Add the remaining ingredients for preparing the meat mixture except for the ground turkey.  Stir all the ingredients until well blended and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes
  2.  Add 1½ pounds of ground turkey.  Stir the ground turkey until it is completely coated with the tomato-oil based sauce.  Cover skillet with lid and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3.  After several minutes of cooking, stir the meat.  Cook for approximately 25 to 30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Cover saucepan with lid.
  4.  Melt 4 tablespoons of margarine and place the plantain slices in saucepan.  Sauté until golden brown on both sides.
  5.  On a cutting board, cut the cooked plantain slices into smaller pieces.  Place in a bowl and set aside.
  6.  Using a baking pan, measuring 8 X 8 X 2 inches, assemble the Piñón by layering first with plantain pieces, meat mixture and cheese.   Repeat this process again.
  7.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350°F.  Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

Note:  If using ground beef, reduce olive oil to 1 tablespoon.  Since we also want the meat to remain in chunks, we need to limit the frequency of stirring the ground turkey.

To reduce your fat intake and sodium, you can use Mozzarella Cheese instead of Gouda Cheese.

  • Category: Plantain Meat Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican

Keywords: Baked Piñón, Piñón, Meat Pie, Plantain Meat Pie

Nutritional Facts Disclaimer

Category: Meat Pies, Recipes

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