You see the picture, and I know what all of you are thinking: It’s Shepherd’s Pie! And you’re pretty right; with a few minor differences, the Pastel de Papa (one of the most famous Argentina recipes) is quite similar to our moms’ Shepherd’s Pie that we ate on chilly winter nights. Ground beef and vegetables enveloped in a pocket of potatoes…what could be better?
Like many Argentina recipes, the Pastel de Papa is a traditional dish that leaves us unbuttoning our pants so that we can keep eating more. Use this to make this meal for the family, for your date, or for a tailgaiting party (looking at you, Americans) as a dish to pass.
1-1.5 lb. ground beef
Approx. 1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
12-15 green olives with pepper, halved
1-2 tomatoes, diced
Approx. 2 lbs. potatoes
3 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled & diced
Approx. 1 Tbsp. butter
Goya Adobo seasoning (Only if available to you) to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste
Oregano, to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Peel potatoes and add to large pot with enough water to cover well. Boil potatoes and lower flame, cooking until a fork easily pierces potato. Drain and transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Mash using a potato masher or fork. Blend in butter, adobo, salt and pepper and set aside.
To a medium sauté pan, add olive oil and heat on medium flame. Add finely diced onion and chopped red pepper to pan and cook until onion is translucent.
Add ground beef to pan, breaking into smaller sections and mixing with the onions and red pepper. Stir occasionally, cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain excess oil.
Add adobo, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and mix well. Add olives, diced hard-boiled egg and tomato, blending together.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place half of the mashed potatoes into baking dish, forming a base. Evenly place mixture on top of potatoes. Add remaining half of mashed potatoes on top, covering the mixture completely. Add a couple of small pieces of butter on top of potatoes.
Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until top is slightly golden. Serve warm.