Oven Baked Pastelles

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OVEN-BAKED-PASTELLES
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A traditional Caribbean dish made up of a meat stuffed cornmeal pie which is usually wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. The Puerto Rican version is what we are accustomed to here; made with green bananas and a savory achiote flavored pork filling.

While it is a time consuming dish to prepare, a co-worker friend of mine shared her recipe for the dish baked as a casserole instead of the individual wrapped parcels.

OVEN-BAKED-PASTELLES
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OVEN BAKED PASTELLES

A traditional Caribbean dish made up of a meat stuffed cornmeal pie which is usually wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. The Puerto Rican version is what we are accustomed to here; made with green bananas and a savory achiote flavored pork filling.
While it is a time consuming dish to prepare, a co-worker friend of mine shared her recipe for the dish baked as a casserole instead of the individual wrapped parcels.
Prep Time45 mins
Active Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Local
Keyword: traditional caribbean dish, meat, cornmeal pie, banana leaves, puerto rican, green bananas, savory, achiote, pork
Yield: 12 Servings.
Author: Deirdre K Todd

Materials

  • 1/2 c. achiote oil (Recipe follows)
  • 15-20 green bananas, (about 6 c. after grated)
  • hot water, as needed
  • 1+2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 1/2 lbs. boneless pork, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 oz.) can El Pato Mexican tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches cilantro, stems removed, chopped
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 Hawaiian chili peppers, chopped
  • 1 (7 oz.) can pitted black olives, drained
  • 4 large ti leaves

Achiote Oil:

  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. achiote/annato seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions

Oil:

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, cook seeds in oil 10-12 minutes; until color is a deep orange.
  • Remove from heat; stir in allspice, peppercorns and red pepper.
  • Allow to steep overnight. Strain.
  • Use as desired to flavor beef/pork dishes, rice etc. Makes 1 cup.
     
  • Soak whole bananas in hot water 10 minutes.
  • Peel; finely grate into a bowl.
  • Add all but 3 tablespoons of achiote oil and 1 teaspoon of salt; mix well. Set aside.
  • In a processor or with a mortar and pestle, grind garlic, oregano, remaining 2 teaspoons salt and pepper.
  • Transfer into a mixing bowl with pork; marinate 15 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown pork with garlic mixture in 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Stir in tomato sauces and broth; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; add onion, bell pepper, onion, parsley, garlic, chili peppers, olives and bananas.
  • Simmer 1 hour; stirring as needed.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees; line a 13×9-inch baking pan with 2 ti leaves; drizzle with remaining tablespoon of achiote oil.
  • Spread onto ti leaves.
  • Transfer mixture into prepared pan; cover with remaining ti leaves.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Place pan into larger roasting pan filled with 1-inch of water.
  • Bake 30-40 minutes.

How To Serve:

  • Serve with lots of rice.
  • Pass the chili-pepper-water please.
  • Serves 12.
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