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LOCATION: Recipes >> Pork >> PASTELES

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from the art of Caribbean cookery by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli

makes 36
filling:
2 pounds lean pork meat without bone
6 tablespoons naranja agria juice (sour orange juice)

Mash in Mortar:
4 sweet chili peppers, seeded
4 leaves cilantro
2 large cloves garlic,peeled
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon salt

Cube finely:
1 pound cured ham
2 tomatoes
1 green pepper, seeded
1 onion, peeled

1 1/2 cups seeded raisins

1 pound can of garbanzos(chick peas)
1 cup water
24 green olives, pitted
2 tablespoons capers
4 1/2 tablespoons liquid from jar of capers
1 pound(2 cups ) lard
1/4 pound achiote seeds

Wash and dry pork rapidly and cut into very small cubes. Mix cubes with
the sour orange juice. Add mashed ingredients, chili peppers, cilantro,
garlic, oregano and salt to meat. Add cubed ingredients, cured ham,
tomatoes, green pepper,and onion and the seeded raisins and mix all
together. Add water to the chick peas and heat rapidly to boiling. Drain
the liquid over the meat mixture. Remove skins from chick peas and add
chick peas to meat. Add Olives and capers, together with the liquid from
jar of capers, to mixture. Wash and drain the achiote seeds. Heat lard
with the achiote seeds and when lard is melted strain out seeds. Add 6
tablespoons of this melted lard to the meat and put aside the rest to be
used in the masas of the pasteles. Mix well, cover and set aside until the
masa is ready.

Masa(paste):
4 pounds white yautia, pared (tanier, the starchy roots of a tropical
large leaved plant. The flesh is usually creamy white or yellow and is similar
in flavor and texture to mealy Irish or Idaho potato.
4 pounds yellow yautia, pared
15 green bananas, peeled

2 cups lukewarm milk
achiote lard reserved when filling was made
2 1/2 tablespoons salt

Wash, drain and grate Yautia and bananas and pound all together in a
mortar or blend in an electric blender to make a smooth paste. Stir in
luke warm milk gradually. Add the achiote lard and salt, mix well, cover
and set aside to make the pasteles.

To Shape and cook the Pasteles:

Use 20 bundles of plantain leaves (parchment cooking paper may be used in
place of plantain leaves)They should be long and wide. With a knife,
remove the spines in the center to give greater flexibility to the leaves.
Divide leaves into pieces about 12 inches square. Wash and clean leaves
with a damp cloth. Place 3 tablespoons of the masa on a leaf and spread it
out so thinly that is is almost transparent. Place 3 tablespoons of the
filling in the center of the masa. Fold the leaf one half over the other
to make a top and bottom layer of plantain leaf and enclose the contents
in it. fold it over once more. Fold the right and left ends of the leaf
toward the center. wrap in a second leaf place on the diagonal. Tie the
pasteles together in pairs with a string, placing folded edges facing each
other. (You should now have a rectangle with string going once around the
long length and 3 times across so that you have about 8 fairly even
squares outlined with the string.) In a large vessel heat to boiling for
each 12 pasteles, 5 quarts water with 3 1/2 tablespoons salt. Add Pasteles
and boil, covered, for 1 hour. After half an hour turn them over in the
water. When cooking period is finished, remove pasteles from the water at
once.

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