Pasteles
Ingredients Click Picture to Enlarge
The Masa (the dough):

10 green bananas (Chiquita Style)
2 green plantains (Big Bananas)
2 lbs. yautias (Taro Root)
2 medium potatoes
1 1/2 lbs. pumpkin (Calabaza)
2 1/2 lbs. yuca (Cassava)
6 tbsp. achiote (annatto oil)
1/2 c. annatto oil
5 tbsp. salt, to taste
1 c. pork stuffing sauce

Extra Materials:
1 roll butchers twine (Chiranga Style)
1 lb. parchment paper
1 pack banana leaves

The Pork Stuffing:

3 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder
3 1/2 tbsp. recaito
1 8oz can tomato sauce
2 1/2 c. water
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 small envelope of sazon with annatto (achiote)
Directions
A LO GRATER:

Peel all the Rican roots and veggies (be sure to leave them whole). I REPEAT....DO NOT CUT IN PIECES.

As you peel each veggie, place it in a bowl with salty water so it won't turn black.

Grate all the veggies on the fine side of the (guayo) grater into a large pot or bowl.

A LO FOOD PROCESSOR:

The food processor makes the long process of making the pasteles much easier and faster.

Peel and cut all of the Rican roots and veggies into small pieces and place them into a large pot with cold water and lots of salt.

Drain all the Rican roots and vegetables and place them in a bowl.

Set your food processor to process on high speed.

Have a large bowl or pot ready to place the processed masa and have the reserved 1 cup of the pork stuffing sauce near by too.

Fill the food processor half way with Rican root and veggie pieces.

Pour a little of the sauce into the processor, cover and process until it resembles an oatmeal consistency.

Keep adding more pieces through the processor slot and keep processing until all of the roots and vegetables are processed.

When everything is processed, place into a large bowl or pot.

Add the salt, the 6 tablespoons of annatto oil and one cup of pork stuffing sauce to the masa and mix everything well. At this time, taste and see if you need more salt.

Method of Cooking Pork:

Cut the pork into small pieces.

Place the meat, recaito, tomato sauce, water, salt, black pepper and saz���ón into a large pot.

Bring to a boil then simmer for 45 minutes.

Reserve 1 cup of the stuffing sauce aside for the masa.

Place the meat uncovered into another pot so it can cool faster and set aside.

The Banana Leaves and Twine:

Wash and wipe the banana leaves dry, then cut in half with a pair of scissors.

Cut the twine about 36 inches long so you can wrap 2 pasteles together.

Now, Let's get it on.....................

Place a piece of banana leave in the center of a piece of parchment paper. If you were not lucky enough to find banana leaves, use only the parchment paper.

Place about 1/2 teaspoon of annatto oil in the center of the banana leaf and smear it around in a circular motion.

Using a large cooking spoon, place about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the masa in the center of the banana leave and smear it around in a circular motion.

Place a good helping of the pork stuffing with a little sauce in the center.

Carefully flap the upper side of the parchment paper toward the lower side.

Fold the two bottom flaps up 1 1/2 inches then fold over again towards the center of the pastel.

Now, fold the right flap over and then the left one.

Take a piece of the twine and tie the pastel securely with a bow.

To Cook the pasteles:

Fill a large deep pot with water leaving enough space to add the pasteles.

Bring the water to a boil then add salt so that when you taste the water, you can taste the salt.

Immerse the pasteles in the boiling water and boil at medium heat for 1 1/2 hours.

Make sure the pasteles are immersed in water while boiling. If not add more hot water to the pot.

When they are done, untie them and serve hot. If by chance they are not done, DO NOT PANIC. Re-tie them and cook a little longer.

This recipe makes about 24 pasteles.
Tips
If you like hot hot stuff, add some Tabasco Sauce or my "Pique de Caballero" sauce over the pastels when you serve them.

If you are lucky enough to find banana leaves and don't want them to crack when folding the pasteles, soften them up by placing them in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes, like 2-3 minutes.

From one jibaro to another.......

ENJOY THESE MY JIBARO FRIENDS.
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