Island Bites: Pastelon de Papas (Potato Casserole)
A pastelon de papas is a delicious baked potato dish. This casserole is very popular in Puerto Rico, but is also made in other latin countries. It has layers of mashed potato and seasoned meat, similar to shepherd's pie.
Traditional Puerto Rican pastelon de papas is made with picadillo (ground beef seasoned with sofrito, olives and spices). This recipe is a lighter version, made with stewed chicken.
- Mash boiled potatoes with butter. Add garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and salt and black pepper to taste. Consistency must be thicker than regular mashed potatoes. Reserve.
- To make the chicken: Sautee onions, peppers and minced garlic in oil for 2 or 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, olives, herbs and spices. Add salt and pepper. Let it cook for 2 or 3 more minutes. Add the chicken and let it simmer cover at very low temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and shred it. Meanwhile, reduce the sauce at medium-to high heat if necessary. Return shredded chicken to the sauce and mix. Adjust salt if needed. Chicken must be cover in sauce but not saucy.
- Spread half of the mashed potatoes in a previously greased baking pan. Add the chicken. (You could add a layer of your favorite cheese.) Top with the rest of the potatoes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Bake at 375 for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Let it rest before serving.
- 4 pounds potatoes, boiled
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 tbs garlic powder
- parmesan cheese, grated
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 7oz can roasted red peppers, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can tomato sauce or puree
- olives, sliced (optional)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt & pepper
- canola or olive oil
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