As a Puerto Rican, we ate lots of plantains growing up.
My favorite were the maduros which were yellow and very ripe even to the point of having a black skin. These were the sweet ones as opposed to the green plantains which were not sweet at all and were usually served with a garlic dip. Â But the maduros ~ well, we just fried them up and ate the slices. Simple and delicious!
It’s interesting that almost every time I go to the grocery store and see the very ripe plantains they bring the price down because they assume (incorrectly) that the plantain is too ripe. Â So it’s a bonus to pick up these delicious maduros.
Now, being one to have a sweet tooth, I searched for a recipe to incorporate these plantains into a meal. Â And, right on my bookshelf I found a book called Puerto Rican Cookery that had been given to me as a gift many years ago. It had a recipe for plantain balls but I decided to adapt it to suit my taste.
Besides the plantains, the rest of the ingredients are quite simple: Â ground beef, cheese and seasonings.
The plantains are boiled in water until they look like they are going to pop out. Â Then they’re taken out to cool. Â Once cooled, I peeled them and added them to a bowl with butter and arrowroot starch. Â Then I mashed them up.
The ground beef is put in a skillet with the seasonings and cooked through. Â This will be used to fill the plantain balls along with the shredded cheese.
I added a little arrowroot powder to my hands before I picked up some of the plantain mixture to fill it. Â It needs to be flattened so it can be filled with the ingredients.
The plantain balls will come out looking like this …
And once baked they’ll look like this …
These Beef & Cheese Filled Plantain Balls are paleo … deliciously paleo. Â And, if you choose, you can also fry them instead of baking them but I prefer them baked.
I served my plantain balls with Crispy Baked Eggplant DippersÂ and sliced tomatoes.
Ready to try this simple and tasty recipe?
Beef & Cheese Filled Plantain Balls
- 4 very ripe plantains
- 2 quarts water
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for beef mixture
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 16 ounces ground beef
- Oregano, 1 teaspoon
- Garlic Powder, 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 to 1 cup Aged White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- Olive Oil
- Olive Oil Spray
- Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
- In a large pot, add the water and 1 teaspoon salt then bring this to a boil.
- Slice the plantains in half and add them to the water with the skin on.
- After 15-20 minutes, remove the plantains from the water and set aside to allow them to cool.
- In a large skillet, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and allow this to warm.
- Add the beef, oregano and garlic powder to the skillet and cook until the beef is thoroughly cooked.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper and stir until well blended then set the beef aside.
- Once the plantains are cooled, remove the peel and add them to a medium sized bowl along with the melted butter and 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder.
- Mash the ingredients in the bowl.
- Coat your hand with a little bit of arrowroot powder then take a large spoonful of the plantain ingredients and make a flat patty in your hand.
- Add beef and cheese to the center of the patty then cover it with the plantain mixture to form a ball.
- Continue to make the balls until all the ingredients are gone.
- Spray olive oil in a casserole dish then add the plantain balls.
- Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes until the balls are golden.
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