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Puerto Rican Pasteles

Puerto Rican Pasteles

Three Kings Day Special

Romero & Mujica Family Feast, Westfield, MA


  • Parchment paper (use sheets approx. 12 x 12 in size)
  • Banana leaves (cut each leaf into 4 x 4 sections)
  • Vegetable Oil infused with annatto seeds (seeds removed)
  • Kitchen twine
  • Meat Filling:
  • 3 lb pork shoulder, whole (washed, cut in 1" cubes)
  • 2 Tbsp sofrito
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup small olives, chopped and pitted
  • 2 packages, Sazon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • Vegetable Dough Mixture:
  • 5 green guineos (bananas), peeled and cubed
  • 2 green plantains, peeled and cubed
  • 3 yautia, medium size, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 lb pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup reserved liquid (from Meat Filling)
  • 2 small packages, Sazon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp annatto seeds
  • 1 Tsp Adobo


In a large pot, simmer the pork, sofrito, tomatoes, tomato sauce, olives, Sazon, salt and pepper in water until tender, two hours. Drain the mixture, reserving the meat and liquid separately.

Using an electric grinder (or food processor), grind the guineos (bananas), plantains, yautia and pumpkin. Combine into a large bowl.

In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and annatto seeds until it becomes a deep, red color. Remove the annatto seeds. Set aside to cool.

To make the vegetable dough mixture, add the meat filling’s reserve liquid, sazon, salt and pepper, and one cup of the annatto seed oil (reserve remaining oil for brushing the banana leaves). The dough should have a consistency similar to oatmeal

Lay the parchment paper, flat, on a work surface. Place a section of banana leaf on top of the parchment paper. Lightly brush the inside of a banana leaf with annatto seed oil. Spread the vegetable mixture evenly over the leaves. Next, add 2 Tbsp of the meat filling.

Fold in each end of the parchment paper and close to completely encase the filling.
Repeat to create a yunta, or pair of pasteles. Tie the pasteles together, two at a time, with twine. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Refrigerate until needed, or cook for 45 minutes in boiling water with salt. Drain.
Cut the twine and unwrap the pastels, removing the parchment paper and banana leaves.
Serve with ketchup or Tabasco. Serves: 10

Note: If the Pasteles are frozen, boil them for an additional 15-30 minutes.