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Puerto Rican Pasteles World Cuisine Today Magazine

Growing up one of my best childhood friends was raised in the Puerto Rican American culinary way. I will never forget being able to make Christmas Pasteles with her mom and family. It seemed to go right along with decorating the tree. They have a rich slightly sweet aromatic taste with shredded meat, yautia which is similar to a potato, green plantains, and Kambocha pumpkin. Take a few days to make this with your family some time. Don't forget the banana leaves, and to wrap them up pretty with some paper and twine. The look like little gifts your family can unwrap. Find new and exciting recipes at:

Recipe for Authentic Puerto Rican Pasteles


For the Meat Filling

Two pounds of cubed dark meat chicken or pork shoulder diced finely

Three Tablespoons Sofrito pepper sauce

Three garlic cloves minced

One medium yellow or white onion minced

Two teaspoons of fresh oregano

One half cup minced sweet pepper

One to two Serrano or Jalapeno peppers

One envelope Sazon sin Achiote or Three Tablespoons seasoned salt

1/2 cup diced tomatoes or sauce

One cup chickpeas

salt and pepper to taste

Three quarters of a cup of broth or water

For the Drizzling Oil

6 Tablespoons Achiote or sweet Paprika

Two cups vegetable oil

For the Masa

Two green plantains peeled

Three green bananas peeled

One and a half pounds of Yautia (Taro root) peeled

One half pound Kabocha pumpkin peeled

One half cup Sofrito sauce (Racaito)

One Tablespoon dried oregano or Two Tablespoons fresh

One teaspoon beef boullion

Two packets Sazon sin Achiote or Six Tablespoons seasoned salt

For the Sofrito Sauce

Five green sweet peppers minced

Two red bell peppers minced

12 Aji Dulce or Two Banana peppers minced

Five cups yellow or white onions minced

One cup garlic minced

Two cups flat leaf parsley minced

Two cups cilantro minced

Juice of one lemon

1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil

Three Tablespoons fresh Oregano

Twelve Banana leaves washed and prepared

Butcher paper

Butcher twine


For the Sofrito

1) Mince all ingredients in blender, food processor or by hand. Keep chilled for use in the recipes

For the Meat Filling

1) In a wide large pan or dutch oven place your minced chicken or pork with a few Tablespoons of neutral oil or extra virgin olive oil. Saute until brown and not pink on the outsides for six to seven minutes.

2) Next add the onion, oregano and minced peppers. Saute with a few more Tablespoons of the oil until soft another six minutes.

3) Add the tomatoes, Sazon packet or three Tablespoons seasoned salt, and a cup of garbanzo beans (chick peas) cooked and three quarters of a cup of broth or water.

(You may also combine these ingredients in an Instapot or pressure cooker for 45 minutes)

For the Masa

1) Using a food processor or by hand grate the peeled plantains, green bananas, Yautia, and pumpkin. Grate in batches with a splash of water if necesary. They should make a fine paste

2) Add the remaining ingredients and combine well in batches. Place in an air tight non reactive container and keep chilled until use.

For the Banana Leaves

1) Devein the banana leaves and wash under warm water.

2) Cut into twelve inch square pieces and pat dry.

To Assemble

1) Create a line including the Masa mixture, the Filling mixture, the Achiote oil, and lastly the banana leaves.

2) Cut a piece of butcher paper slightly larger than you leaf. Set the leaf on it an paint with the oil.

3) Take one half cup of the Masa and place it in the center of the leaf. Smooth over the leaf.

4) Place two to three Tablespoons of the meat filling in a line down the center of the Masa and spread out a bit.

5) Fold the banana leaf in half to cover the meat filling.

6) Fold the ends of the leaf together twice to create a seal. Wrap the butcher paper over the entire thing like a present.

7) Boil in a tall stock pot or dutch oven in batches.

Yield is roughly twelve large pasteles.

Enjoy with Lamb, Pork or Chicken and Rice with Pigeon Peas