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. 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. 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. 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: ground beef, cheese and seasonings.
The plantains are boiled in water until they look like they are going to pop out. Then they’re taken out to cool. Once cooled, I peeled them and added them to a bowl with butter and arrowroot starch. Then I mashed them up.
The ground beef is put in a skillet with the seasonings and cooked through. 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. 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. 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 Dippers and sliced tomatoes.
Ready to try this simple and tasty recipe?
Paleo 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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