By Amy Vega Guobadia
Here’s a recipe famous in Puerto Rican households during the holiday. As far as I can remember my grandma made Pasteles for every winter holiday. Unfortunately, my grandma took her recipe with her to Puerto Rico eight years ago. After a few years of not having this traditional food, I searched the internet for the recipe. The first two attempts, I got the recipes from different sites and they didn’t taste right. I adjusted the recipe and it was great. The third time was a charm. I always make a test batch. I adjust the ingredients for that perfect savory taste. Here’s the recipe:
There are two products that go into a pastels; the masa (dough) and the filling.
Ingredients for masa:
6 green bananas, peeled and shredded
2 green plantain, peeled and shredded
1 medium sized yuca, shredded
1 russet potato, peeled and shredded
salt, to taste
1/4 cup milk
Ingredients for filling:
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
12 oz jar of sweet pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
4 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup water
2 lbs of pork butt or shoulder, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons oil
salt & pepper, to taste
oregano, to taste
Parchment paper, 30 sheets. 2 sheets per pastel
kitchen string, about 36 inches per pastel
achicote oil, 1/4 cup
30 olives, 2 per pastel
1- As you shred the ingredients for the masa place into a large bowl of water and salt so it doesn’t turn brown.
2- Drain the water and puree ingredients in 1 cup batches in blender. Add a little milk to masa to smooth mixture. It should look like hot oatmeal. Chill in frig while you make the filling.
1- Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot. Add the filling and simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Gather the masa, filling and assembly stuff on a large enough area.
1. Layer two sheets of parchment paper. Brush the center of top parchment paper with achiote.
2- Scoop up about 1/2 cup of masa place on the achiote part of the parchment paper.
3- Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the masa. Place olives in masa.
4- Fold the top of the paper over the pastels. Flip over and fold end over. Repeat with second sheet.
5- Tie kitchen string around it like a package.
6- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently boil for 1 hour. Remove string and paper. Serves 12- 15.
Goes great with rice and chick peas. Enjoy!
For step by step picture directions visit my blog at http://alexandbeckysmom.blogspot.com/2007/12/pasteles-puerto-rican-savory-cakes.html