Baked Pasteles de Yuca - A Delicious Variation on the Traditional
Updated: Jan 25
We are back with another pasteles video! We are making pasteles de yuca again, but this time we are going to bake them, rather than boiling them. This method of cooking is both easier and -- for some -- more delicious. You guys are going to love it!
Ingredients (Yields 8-9 pasteles):
3 lbs frozen grated yuca
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup achiote oil
2 tsp salt
2 tbs vegetable shortening
2 cups filling
Pork Filling: Recipe HERE
Chicken Filling: Recipe HERE
Vegetarian Filling: Recipe HERE
Achiote Oil (not included here, but check our earlier video: https://youtu.be/KpJiECbHXbI?t=276)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup achiote seeds (aka annatto seeds)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
We just put out a recipe on making pasteles de yuca (HERE), using basically the same recipe as what we are making here, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time repeating the details. Check the link for more information.
The first thing you want to do is mix up your masa. To do this, dump your grated yuca into a large mixing bowl and then add your achiote oil, the chicken broth, the salt, and the shortening. The only thing to keep in mind is that you need the yuca to be completely thawed, so make sure you do that ahead of time.
Once you’ve combined the ingredients for your masa, mix them together, ultimately using a whisk to thoroughly combine everything. You want to make sure the shortening gets fully integrated so beat your masa vigorously. Once finished, it should have an even color throughout and no lumps.
With your masa mixed, next go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, while your oven is preheating, let’s wrap the pasteles. Because you need a lot of things to make your pasteles, I like to set up my work station so everything is in reach. I have my banana leaves, aluminum foil, and achiote oil on my left. Then my filling and masa on my right, with an open space right in front of me to roll the pasteles in. Again, since we covered a lot of this stuff in our previous recipes, we aren’t showing you how to cut your banana leaves or make the achiote oil--but feel free to jump back to those videos if you have any questions on that.
-How to Make Pasteles de Masa (with pork filling)
-How to Make Pasteles de Yuca (including how to prepare the banana leaves and achiote oil)
Once your work station is set up, start folding your pasteles. I’m actually going to make these pasteles two ways, just to show you guys some different options. In the first version I’m going to line the aluminum foil with banana leaves but in the second version I’m just going to leave out the banana leaf. This change affects the taste and texture of your pasteles, so give them both a try and see which one you like better.
For the first version, with the banana leaf, roll it just like you would a normal pastel. Put the aluminum foil in front of you with a banana leaf on top. Then use a brush to paint some achiote oil on to the banana leaf, in a rectangle approximately 6 inches wide by four inches high. Once your achiote oil is in place, scoop approximately two thirds of a cup of masa onto the banana leaf, on top of the achiote oil. Then spread your masa into a rectangle, fully covering the achiote oil you just brushed onto the leaf. Finally, add about one quarter of a cup of filling to your masa, in a straight line along the edge of the masa closest to you.
Once your filling is in place, use the banana leaf to double the masa over, onto itself, so that it fully encompasses the filling. Next fold any remaining portion of the banana leaf back on to itself and pull the pastel towards the end of the aluminum foil closest to you. Once situated, roll the pastel forward once in the aluminum foil, then press down on the edges of the pastel, pushing all of the filling towards the center. Next, fold in the sides of the aluminum foil, along both edges, creating a crease along the length of the aluminum foil. Once the sides are folded in, just finish rolling your pastel forward, until fully wrapped. Then set it aside. Because we are going to bake these, we don’t tie them into yuntas. And because we are using aluminum foil rather than parchment paper, there’s no need to use twine to keep them closed.
So again, the process is pretty straightforward once you have everything prepared. Just put down a piece of aluminum foil, with a banana leaf on top. Then paint on your achiote oil and add two thirds of a cup of masa. Spread the masa into a rectangle and then add a quarter cup of filling along the edge. Next double over your masa, encompassing the filling and then roll it forward once in the aluminum foil. Finally, seal up the edges of the pastel and finish rolling it in the aluminum foil. Easy!
Now, on to the version without the banana leaf. For this one, you literally just repeat the same process as before, but you leave out the banana leaf. So just put down a piece of aluminum foil, paint on your achiote oil and then add the masa. Then, same as before, just spread the masa out, add your filling, and then double the masa over on to itself, encompassing the filling. Next, just push the pastel towards the center of the foil and fold up the edges on both sides, sealing in the pastel and creating a crease the length of the aluminum foil. With the sides folded up, just roll the pastel forward and you are done.
Keep rolling pasteles until you use up all of your masa and filling. Once you are done rolling your pasteles, just arrange them on a baking sheet. In order for them to cook the fastest possible, put the pasteles down in a single layer, with a little bit of space in between them.
Now bake your pasteles at 350 degrees for approximately one hour. Once your hour is up, pull the pasteles out of the oven and let them cool down, until you can handle them comfortably.
At this point, you can unwrap them and they are ready to eat. Just add a side of arroz con gandules and your Christmas meal is all done! Enjoy!
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.