Making and serving pasteles at Christmas time is a Puerto Rican tradition. It’s hard work, but well worth the effort. Get together a bunch of friends and make a day of it. Be sure to make enough for everyone to take home.There are as many pastele recipes as there are cooks. You can always add or take away ingredients to meet your preferences.

Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:
STUFFING
2 pounds diced pork
4 ajíces dulces (small sweet peppers)
1 small onion
2 tablesoons recaito
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon adobo
1 tablespoons oregano (dry flakes)
1 bay leaf
MASA DOUGH
4 pounds yautía
6 green bananas
1 tablespoon of salt
achiote oil
WRAPPING
40 banana leaves (cut into approx. 10 in X 5 in rectangles)
20 Pieces parchment paper (cut into approx. 8 in X 4 in rectangles)
20 Pieces of kitchen string (Cut into 18 inch. lengths)

Preparation:
PART 1 – MAKE THE STUFFING

1. Brown the pork pieces in a pan.

2. Add the rest of the stuffing ingredients.

3. Cook until the pork is no longer pink inside.

4. Set aside and let cool.

PART 2 – MAKE THE MASA DOUGH

1. In a large bowl, peel and grate the yautía and the green bananas together.

2. Stir in the salt and enough achiote oil to moisten the dough and add a little color. You are now ready to assemble and wrap the pasteles.

PART 3 – WRAP THE PASTELES

1. Set the dough aside and prepare a work surface to assemble and wrap the pasteles. If you have friends helping you, set up an assembly line.

2. Follow my step-by-step guide to assembling and wrapping pasteles.

3. Set aside the pasteles you are going to eat right away. You can freeze the rest.

PART 4 – COOK THE PASTELES

1. Bring a stock pot of salted water to a boil. There should be enough water to cover the pasteles.

2. Boil the pasteles for 1 hour.

3. Unwrap the pasteles before serving.

Serves: Makes about 20 pasteles.

 

SOURCE: http://latinfood.about.com/od/puertorico/r/pasteles.htm