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Cook1 hr 10 mins
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!)
- 1⁄2 cup lard or 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon annatto seeds
- 1 1⁄2 lbs lean pork, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1⁄4 lb pork fatback, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or 1⁄4 lb 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 chopped
- 6 small sweet green peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (aj?es dulces) (optional)
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 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 liquid)
- 1⁄3 cup pitted green olives, sliced into thin rounds, with 1 tablespoon liquid
- 1 tablespoon capers (optional)
- 2 cups raisins
Ingredients for the dough
- 2 large green plantains
- green bananas
- 2 lbs yautia (taro root, malanga, dasheen)
- 1 cup broth, reserved from cooking the filling
- 1 tablespoon salt
Ingredients for the wrapping
- 1 lb frozen banana leaves, spines removed or 1 lb fresh banana leaf, 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 occasionally.
- 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 the processor.
- 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 center.
- 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, and serve hot.