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Recipe Pasteles
Recipe Pasteles Puerto Rico


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
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
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 leaves fresh culantro or cilantrillo, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh 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
2 cups raisins
Ingredients for the dough:
2 large green plantains
green bananas
2 lbs yautia
1 cup broth, reserved from cooking the filling
1 tablespoon salt
Ingredients for the wrapping:
1 lb frozen banana leaves cut into 12-inch squares spines removed, or
20 sheets parchment paper, 12-inch x 18-inch
string or butchers 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, bananas and 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 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.


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