Pasteles are a Christmas time staple in Puerto Rico. Pasteles are a type of tamale.
Unlike the traditional Mexican tamale they are not steamed but boiled.
Puerto Rican pasteles are made with pork in adobo sauce enclosed in green banana masa, wrapped in banana leaves.
Here's an easy puerto rican pasteles recipe.
- 1 lbs Pork, Diced
- 1 Small Onion, Chopped
- 2 Ajíces Dulces
- 2 TBSP Recaito
- 2 tsp Adobo
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 lbs Yautía, Peeled
- 3 Green Bananas
- Achiote Oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- 20 Banana Leaves
- Parchment Paper
- Kitchen String
Brown the pork pieces in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.
Add the onion, 1 TBSP recaito, ajíces dulces, adobo, 2 cloves garlic, oregano, and bay leaf, stirring well, making sure all of the pork cubes are coated. Cook, until the pork is no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, grate the yautía and the green bananas. Put them in a food processor and blend until creamy. Put mixture in a fine mesh sieve and allow to drain for at least 3 hours.
Put the dough into a bowl and stir in the remaining recaito, salt and just enough of the achiote oil to moisten the dough.
On a large, clean work surface, set up an area to assemble and wrap the pasteles. For each pastel, lay out a piece of parchment paper with the long side closest to you. Brush a very small amount of annatto oil on the parchment paper and top with one piece of banana leaf. Brush achiote oil in a rectangle shape on the center of the banana leaf.
Spread 2 TBSP of masa into the center of the leaf so it is about 1/2" thick. Add 1 TBSP of pork along the length of the masa.
Your goal is that each bite of pastel has a bite of pork. Add another TBSP of masa on top of the pork.
Bring the long edge of the banana leaf over the top of the pork filling. Then repeat with the other side of the banana leaf so that the masa completely covers the top of the filling. Bring the edges of the banana leaf together and fold down over the top. Fold the short edges of the banana leaf underneath the package.
Bring the top and bottom long edges of the parchment paper over the top, roll down the edges to make a horizontal seam. Tuck the ends under.
Tie with string in both directions.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasteles in a single layer. Let cook for 1 hour.
Repeat with the remaining pasteles, then unwrap and serve right away.