Piononos (Fried Plantain Meat Pies)
These fried pies are stuffed with a classic Puerto Rican picadillo of spiced ground beef, tomatoes, and olives. This recipe first appeared in our December 2011 issue along with Kathleen Squires's story Island Holiday.
Enlarge Image Credit: Penny de los SantosSERVES 12
INGREDIENTS2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, minced
1 ½ tsp. ground achiote (available from gourmetsleuth.com)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 ½ lb. ground beef chuck
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup roughly chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
16 oz. canned whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 ripe plantains, peeled, cut lengthwise into ¼″ slices
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup canola oil
INSTRUCTIONS1. To make filling, heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add achiote, cumin, cinnamon, and oregano; cook for 1 minute. Add beef; cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Add raisins, olives, and tomatoes; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; cool.
2. To make pies, shape two plantain slices into a 4″ cylinder, overlapping their ends, and securing with toothpicks. Repeat to make 12 cylinders. Stuff cylinders with 14 cup of the filling. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk together eggs, flour, and 1 tbsp. water in a bowl. Working in batches, dip pies in egg mixture, and add to skillet; fry, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.