Recipe #002 | 5˝ hours | 4 hours prep
In Puerto Rico, these wrapped goodies are made in large quantities
during the holidays, often with several family members sharing in the tasks
of preparation. A food processor or blender makes the job easier. There are
different versions. This one has a lot of ingredients but it is still very
good. You can also stuff them with chicken instead of pork. (Time to make
depends on how much help you can get!)
16 -20 Pasteles
1/2 cup lard or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon annatto seeds
1 1/2 lbs lean pork, cut into 1/4-inch
1/4 lb pork fatback, cut into 1/2-inch
pieces or bacon, strips cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely
6 small sweet green peppers, seeded and
coarsely chopped (aj?es dulces) (optional)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely
4 leaves fresh culantro, coarsely
chopped (or cilantrillo, or both)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas (reserve the
1/3 cup pitted green olive, sliced into
thin rounds, with 1 tablespoon liquid
1 tablespoon capers (optional)
2 cups raisins
Ingredients for the dough
2 large green plantains
30 - 40 green bananas
2 lbs yautia (taro root, malanga,
1 cup broth, reserved from cooking the
1 tablespoon salt
Ingredients for the wrapping
1 lb frozen banana leaves, spines
removed or fresh banana leaves, cut into 12-inch squares spines removed
20 sheets parchment paper, 12-inch x
18-inch (If banana leaves are not available, parchment paper may be used
for entire wrapping)
string or butcher s kitchen twine
Add oil in a large skillet
over medium heat. Add the annatto seeds and heat for one minute to release
their orange color.
Remove from heat
and drain the oil into a separate container.
Discard the seeds
and return half of the oil to the skillet.
Return the oil to medium-high
heat and add the pork and bacon. Brown for about 5 minutes, stirring
Add the garlic,
onion, bell pepper, small green peppers, tomatoes, culantro, and oregano,
and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas and
olives (with their respective liquids), capers, and raisins.
Cover and simmer over
low-medium heat for 40 minutes. When done, uncover and allow to cool.
Drain the broth into a
separate container and set aside.
Make the dough by peeling the
plantains and the bananas, first cutting off the ends and running a knife
tip lengthwise along one or more of the ridges.
Insert and run a thumb just
beneath the cut peel to lift and remove it. Peel the yautia.
Place plantains, bananas, and
yautia into a large bowl of salted cold water to prevent discoloring.
You can grate them using the
fine side of a hand grater, or instead, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces for
Fill 1/3 to 1/2 of the food
processor or blender container with the cut vegetables, slowly adding broth
to form a smooth, porridgelike mash. It should not be runny.
Transfer the purée to a large
bowl. If you run out of broth, substitute water as needed.
Stir in the salt and the
remaining annatto oil.
Place a banana leaf on a sheet
of parchment paper.
Drop a scant 1/2 cup of the
dough onto the center of the leaf and spread it several inches all around
with the back of a spoon.
Drop 2 tablespoons of the
filling a bit off center. Fold each long side and then the ends toward the
Slide the encased leaf toward
the long edge of the parchment and wrap again.
Fold end flaps over.
Tie two pasteles together,
with folded edges facing each other.
To cook, put a batch (4 to 6
tied bundles) into a large kettle of salted boiling water and cook
semicovered at medium-high heat for 30 minutes.
Turn the bundles over and cook
40 minutes more.
When done, drain them well,
remove the strings and wrappings.