Fried Plantain Meat Pies (Piononos)
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.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. ground achiote
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 1⁄2 lb. ground beef chuck
- 1⁄4 cup raisins
- 1⁄4 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 1/4″ slices
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1 cup canola oil
- 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.
- 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 1⁄4 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.