Fried Plantain Meat Pies (Piononos)

  • Serves

    serves 12


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 12 tsp. ground achiote
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 12 lb. ground beef chuck
  • 14 cup raisins
  • 14 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


Step 1

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.

Step 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 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.

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