Taco Shepherd’s Pie (Pastelón de Papa)

This month’s Eat the World Recipe Challenge is going tropical to the Dominican Republic!

I loved that I was able to find some Dominican bloggers, so I could make an authentic recipe.  

The recipe for Pastelon de Papa (Potato Casserole) caught my eye right away, but I wasn’t sure of its authenticity, so I passed it by…until I saw it on another Dominican blog, then I decided to go for it.

I know that “Pastelon de Papa” or even “potato casserole” would go over like a lead balloon if I put it on the menu (I post a weekly menu on a dry-erase board to save me incessant “what’s for dinner” questions).  Looking at it, I thought it kinda looked like shepherd's  pie, so I called it taco shepherd's pie .  Later, I was reading up on the recipe again and saw it compared to shepherd's pie on a Dominican blog so I knew I was on the right track!

The food was enjoyed by all (always a plus).  I ended up combining 2 Dominican recipes for this one, since using Beef Picadillo as the meat layer was highly recommended and I had all the ingredients I needed for it!  The large ingredient list for Beef Picadillo added a great depth of flavor to the whole recipe!

Recipe note:

-I left the skin on my potatoes because I like the skins and I hate peeling potatoes.  I also mash by hand.  If you prefer smoother, potatoes and no skins, feel free to peel and run the potatoes through a ricer.

Taco Shepherd’s Pie (Pastelón de Papa)

Adapted from My Dominican Kitchen

Beef Picadillo

1 pound lean ground beef

½ bell pepper, finely chopped

½ medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 pimento stuffed green olives, minced

1 pack sazon culantro

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon lime juice


2 pounds potatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

¾ cup milk

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish.

Place the beef, onion, and bell pepper in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat (use 1 tablespoon of oil, if desired).  Cook, breaking up the beef, until the meat is browned and vegetables are tender. 

Stir in the garlic, olives, sazon culantro, chili powder, orégano, paprika, and pepper.  Stir to coat, cooking for 1 more minute.  Stir in the tomato sauce and lime juice and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.

While the meat cooks, boil the potatoes in salted water.  Once fork tender, drain and place in a bowl with the butter and milk and mash.

To make the casserole, place a layer of potatoes at the bottom of the casserole pan (I used slightly less than half).  Top with all of the meat.  Sprinkle with ½ cup cheese.  Top with the remaining potatoes and remaining cheese.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown.

Amy Eats the World in...

Cuba: Ropa Vieja (Slow Cooker Beef)
Ireland: Cheesy Potato Soup with Irish Ale
Thailand: Chicken Satay
Kenya: Crunchy N’Dizi (Peanut Crusted Bananas)
Sweden: Rodbetssallad med Getost (Grated Beet Salad with Goat Cheese)
New Zealand: Kiwi Burge
France: Fougasse (Provencal Flatbread)
Argentina: Chimichurri Sauce
Mexico (Halloween Special): Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead Bread)
India: Spiced Golden Mil
Poland: Chrusciki (Angel Wing Cookies)
Ethiopia: Buticha (Hummus)
England: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Leaky Cauldron-Style Mini Cottage Pie 
Georgia: Lobiani (Bean-Stuffed Bread)
Mexico: Crispy Pork Carnitas
Cambodia: Loc Lac (Shredded Beef with Lime)
Israel: Chicken Albondigas (Chicken Meatballs)
Finland: Sima (Lemonade) 
Puerto Rico: Arroz con Tocino  (Rice with Bacon)
Egypt: Ghorayebah Cookies
Ukraine: Scuffles (Rohalyky) Cinnamon Crescent Rolls
Portugal: Bitoque (Steak & Eggs) 
Germany (Christmas Special): Lebkuchenherzen (German "Gingerbread" Cookies) 
Trinidad & Tobago: Trini Macaroni Pie 
Iraq: T'bit (Slow Cooked Chicken & Brown Rice) 
Fiji: Fijian Creamy Lentil Soup (Dhal) 
Senegal: Cafe Touba (Senegalese Spiced Coffee) 
Colombia: Cañón de Cerdo (Colombia-Style Pork Loin Roast) 
Soul Food (United States): Oven-Baked Ribs with Cola BBQ Sauce 
Bangladesh: Shemai (Sweet Vermicelli Pudding) 
The Netherlands: Dutch Farmer’s Cheese Soup (Boerenkaas Soep) 
Laos: Khao Piak Sen (Lao Chicken Noodle Soup) 
Jamaica: Chicken &  Pumpkin Soup 
Vietnam: Vietnamese Chicken Porridge (Chao Ga) 
Sudan: Red Lentil Soup (Sudanese Addas) 
Luxembourg: Bouchée à la Reine (Vol-au-Vent)
Uruguay: Pasta Caruso

Lesotho: Borotho Bread
Scotland: Tattie Scones
Native American Tribes of North America: Wild Rice, Squash, & Corn Soup
Guyana: Butterflaps
Réunion Island: Rougail Z'Andouille
Australia: Fairy Bread
Turkey: Simit Bread


  1. This sounds like it will be a hit here too Amy.

  2. That looks sooo good! I love the cheesiness and the potato topping. Pure comfort food!