Pasteles De Yuca

Why wait for the holiday to have Pasteles De Yuca
A Traditional Puerto Rican Side dish served during the Christmas Holiday. A true labor of love and tradition.

Makes one dozen pasteles ( you can substitute and use chicken)

The Meat
2 1/2 lbs boneless pork (picnic shoulder or Boston butt)
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
2 packets sazon seasoning with culantro y achiote
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 dried bay leaves
1/4 cup pimento stuffed olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sofrito
1 tablespoon tomate paste

The Masa
4 pounds frozen grated yuca, thawed
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 packets sazon seasoning with culantro and achiote
1 package frozen banana leaves (hojas de platano), defrosted
Parchment paper, for wrapping
Butchers twine, for tying

Chop pork into small cubes, about one inch in size.
Season the meat with adobo, sazon, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Drizzle one teaspoon of olive oil over the meat, then stir up the mixture to get everything well coated with the spices.
Add the remaining two teaspoons of olive oil to a sauce pan, and heat to medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add in the Sofrito and stir for 30 seconds. Add the meat, bay leaves and tomato paste. Stir the mixture to combine.
Next, add in the olives, chicken bouillon cube and chicken broth.

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for one hour.
While that cooks, make the masa. If you’re be able to find grated yuca in the freezer section of your market. This saves lots of time and energy. This is my shortcut to make this recipe much more user-friendly. You’ll want to thaw the frozen grated yuca overnight in the fridge.

Traditionally, pasteles use achiote oil for coloring. This oil is made by boiling whole achoite (annatto) seeds in oil until the oil turns a vibrant red color. Since I rarely use achiote seeds on their own, I substitute by dissolving two packets of sazon seasoning in 2 tablespoons of canola oil. The sazon contains powdered achiote plus other spices, so it’s giving color and flavor to the masa, all in one.

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