Unwrap the beautiful gift of pasteles with this delicious holiday classic recipe!
By Andrea Rodriguez | @latinduckskitchen
There are many variations to Pasteles; some use banana masa, some use yuca. Some prefer to add olives and raisins, some do without. Many enjoy eating them with ketchup or hot sauce, while others want to taste nothing but the beautiful pastel in front of them.
One thing's for certain, this dish is an essential part of Puerto Rican and Dominican culture during the holidays, and no matter what you prefer, nothing takes you back to La Isla like eating a delicious pastel!
Pasteles may seem like an intimidating dish to make, but I hope this recipe helps put that myth to rest. All you need is patience, love, and some extra time to set aside!
- 2 pounds of pork butt cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp of Sofrito
2 tbsp of Sazón
- 2 tbsp of Adobo
- 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp of garlic paste
1 cup of achiote oil
- 2 cups of vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- Sliced Pimientos
- 10 green bananas
- 4 yautias
Paper and cooking string for pasteles
Banana leaves (cut into 6-12 pieces)
For the Filling
For the Masa
For the Achiote Oil
Add 1 cup of achiote seeds to 1.5 cups of vegetable oil in a small saucepan over med/high heat for 10-15 mins.
- Strain the seeds from the oil and discard the seeds.
For the Filling
Clean and rinse the pork butt, then cut into small chunks (approx. 1 inch) and place it in a bowl.
- In a caldero or dutch oven, add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over medium/high heat.
Once the pot is hot, add your Sofrito.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and garlic paste.
Add your achiote oil and 2 bay leaves, and cook for 45-60 mins over medium heat.
- Once cooked, separate the meat from the liquid and set aside for assembling the pasteles.
For the Masa
Peel yautia, green bananas, and calabaza and chop them into small pieces, about 1 inch in size.
- Place yautia and bananas in the blender first, adding 1/2 cup of achiote oil for easier/smoother blending.
- Add calabaza pieces last and blend until the masa is smooth and left with no chunks.
- Place the masa in a bowl and add the remaining achiote oil for color.
- Mix well and place aside.
Assembling the Pasteles
Start by placing 1 sheet of pasteles paper with 1 rectangle banana leaf on top.
- Spread 1 tsp of achiote oil on the banana leaf. Scoop 1/2 cup of masa mixture onto the banana leaves, and spread out into a rectangle.
- Place 2 tablespoons of filling on top of the masa (olives/raisins optional for this step).
- Add 1 to 2 pimiento slices.
- Using the banana leaf, fold the masa over the filling. Bring the leaf ends together. Fold over twice to create a tight seal. Tuck the ends over.
- Stack 2 pasteles on top of each other and tie them together (using a cooking string) like a present.
You can cook them by boiling them right away in salted water for 45 minutes, or you can freeze them in a freezer-gallon bag until ready to use (they can remain in the freezer for up to 6 months).