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Pasteles

3/4 cup achiote (annato)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (corn oil or olive oil)

15 pounds boneless pork meat
1 1/4 cup sofrito
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
6 medium potatoes
2 7-ounce cans diced pimento
3 tablespoons salt
1 cup water

4 pounds "yautia" (taro roots)
35 pounds green bananas
5 green plantains
3 tablespoons salt
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sauce from cooked meat

8 packs banana leaves
String to tie the pasteles

Pour the 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil and the achiote in a 1 quart
sauce pan and heat at moderate temperature for approximately 15 -
20 minutes. The vegetable oil should turn red from the achiote.
Do not overcook the achiote because this will give the oil a bitter
taste. Strain the oil and discard the achiote seeds. Set the oil
aside and allow sufficient time for cooling.

Wash and cut the pork into chunks no larger than 1/2" cube. Peel
and cut the potatoes into 1/4" chunks

In a large pot add 1/2 cup of the seasoned oil, meat, sofrito,
potatoes, tomato sauce, diced pimento, salt, and the water. Mix
all the items well and cook at moderate heat for 45 minutes. Set
aside.

While the meat is cooking, peel the bananas, yautia, and plantains
and put them in salt water. This will help to prevent them from
staining. Also, it will help if you use some vegetable oil on your
hand (very small amount) or use rubber kitchen gloves while peeling
the bananas and plantains. This will help reduce the amount of
stain that will stick to your hands.

Grind the bananas, plantains and yautia. Do not grind too fine
since this will ruin the mix. As the mix is being ground, place
the already ground portions into a large (3 to 5 gallon) container.
Once all items have been ground and added to the large container,
add in the milk, 1 cup of seasoned oil, salt, and 1/2 cup of the
sauce from the cooked meat. Mix well until all items are distributed
evenly.

Clean all the banana leaves. You will need to divide the leaves
into pieces of 12" an pieces of 5 x 8"

On the table where you will be assembling the pasteles, place one
of the 12" pieces of banana leaf and then in the center of that
place one of the pieces that measure 5 x 8". On top of this place
4 tablespoons of the banana mix and spread forming a spread to form
a rectangle making a thin layer out of the mix.

Put 2 tablespoons of the cooked meat on top of the banana mix
spreading it down the center lengthwise.

Fold in half widthwise. Fold in half once again. Fold in the end
taking care that by folding you do not apply too much pressure to
the pastel so that the mix doesn't ooze out.

Tie the pastel so that the extremeties are tied. Again take care
not to apply to much pressure.

Cook the pasteles in enough water to completely cover them and add
salt to taste. Cook at moderate high heat. Once the water starts
to boil lower the heat to moderate and cover. Cook for another 45
minutes. Once they are cooked, remove promptly from the water.
Remove the pasteles from the banana leaves to serve.

Makes approximately 80 pasteles

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