Cuban Shepherd’s Pie


Cuban Shepherd’s Pie

Servings 6 Servings


  • Ingredients:
  • Picadillo (Ground Beef):
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • pounds lean ground beef, 90-10% or 93%-7%
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 10 whole pitted green olives, I prefer Castelvetrano, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sweet Plantain Mash:
  • 8 ripe or semi-ripe plantains
  • 1 lime, juiced and divided
  • teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup reserved boiling water from sweet plantains
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  • Picadillo (Ground Beef):
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion and bell pepper until soft (about 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 20-30 seconds. Mix in the ground beef and stir. Add bay leaf, cumin, salt, and pepper; drain off excess grease. Return meat to pan.
  • Add the tomato sauce, sugar, and wine. Cover and continue cooking over medium-low heat (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. If the sauce thickens too much, you can add a little bit of water.
  • Add capers and olives and mix well. Taste and adjust any salt and pepper, if needed. Remove from heat.
  • Place picadillo into an oven-proof baking pan. Transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill 2-3 hours or place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Sweet Plantain Mash:
  • Bring water to a boil (filled a third of the way up) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Trim each end from plantain and cut in half. Add plantains, 1 teaspoon salt, and juice from ½ a lime to boiling water; cover and cook until tender, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Drain plantains thoroughly (reserving ½ cup water) and steam dry 5-10 minutes.
  • In the same pan used to cook the plantains, heat oil on low heat. Add garlic and infused oil 1½ – 2 minutes, making sure garlic does not brown. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Peel the skin off when cool enough to handle and add plantains to the pan with the infused garlic. Mash to desired consistency, add remaining lime juice, ½ teaspoon salt, black pepper, and reserved water; mix until combined.
  • To Assemble Pie:
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Remove pan from freezer. Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the picadillo, and spread sweet plantain mash over the meat and cilantro. Use a fork to rake over the surface. Sprinkle with parmesan, drizzle with butter. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!