Layers of creamy mashed potatoes, stuffed with juicy beef, and lots of melted cheese. Who can resist this pastelón de papa?
Of course, the king of pastelones is pastelón de plátano maduro - raise your hand if you disagree, but pastelón de papa is one of those dishes that everyone finds very easy to appreciate, which is not the case with all Dominican dishes, which may require a process of adaptation to the criollo taste.
Pastelón de papas is a baked casserole with layers of creamy puréed potato, cheese, and juicy ground beef filling cooked in tomato sauce. It can be almost a complete meal in itself. And if it sounds to you like this is the description of a shepherd's pie, you're right, except that pastelones have a bottom and a top layer of potato puré.
While minced beef pastelon is the most popular version and a very popular dish, here you can find other fillings that will work well if you feel a bit adventurous. You can try our creamy chicken filling, our pulled chicken in tomato sauce, and – with some adaptations – make a vegan version with our vegan mince filling.
How to serve
Served with some Dominican salad, this pastelón is a complete meal, but you can also serve it for your potluck, office party, and even as part of the Christmas feast.
About our recipe
This is a comparatively easy recipe to make. The most important trick is that the filling does not get too dry, but neither so moist that the pie becomes a soup in the oven.
You can be very flexible with the selection of cheeses, as long as they are cheeses that melt, and that do not have a taste so "soft" that it is drowned out by the flavors of the filling. A little competition in the flavors goes well in this casserole.
This recipe yields 6 servings, each portion is about 1½ cups in volume.
Remember to have the filling ready before starting to cook, the instructions for the filling of your choice are a separate recipe.
If you have any good ideas for making this dish, we will love reading them in the comments.
[Recipe + Video] Pastelón de Papa (Potato and Beef Casserole)
Minced beef filling
- 2 pound potato, [0.9 kg], peeled
- 1½ teaspoon salt, divided (or more, to taste)
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped finely
- 2 egg yolks, (optional)
- 2½ cups grated mozzarella, or Cheddar cheese, or both
- Making filling: You can find the instructions with video here.
- Prepping potatoes: Boil the potatoes in salted water (½ teaspoon of salt)until they are cooked through. Mash the potatoes, while still warm. A potato ricer (Amazon affiliate link) works best for this, but you can also use a food processor, or simply mash until there aren't any lumps.Mix in potatoes milk, butter, garlic powder, and salt to taste. Mix in parsley and yolks.
- Assembling: Grease a 9-cup baking pan. Spread half of the potato mash in the baking pan, cover with half the cheese. Top with the meat filling, followed by the remaining potato mash. Top with the remaining half of the cheese.
- Baking: Cook in a preheated oven at 350 ºF [170 ºC] for 20 minutes, or until the top is a light golden color, and cheese is bubbly.
- Serving: Let it rest for a minute or two before serving. This goes great with our green salad.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.