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

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

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

8 packs of banana leaves
String to tie the pasteles

  1. 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.
  2. Wash and cut the pork into chunks no larger than 1/2" cube.  Peel and cut the potatoes into 1/4" chunks
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Clean all the banana leaves.  You will need to divide the leaves into pieces of 12" an pieces of 5 x 8"
  7. 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.
  8. Put 2 tablespoons of the cooked meat on top of the banana mix spreading it down the center lengthwise.
  9. 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.
  10. Tie the pastel so that the extremeties are tied.  Again take care not to apply to much pressure.
  11. 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.
  12. Makes approximately 80 pasteles