Pastele Stew

This Puerto Rican inspired dish is usually made with pork, but goes great with our cubed venison meat. You can get achiote powder and seeds from Foodland or Don Quijote under the Mama Sita brand. To make achiote oil just simmer 1 cup of oil with a packet of seeds (1-2 tablespoons) for 5-10 minutes. Be very careful with the oil as it will stain.


1 pound cubed pork or venison

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 small onion, diced

1 large green bell pepper

1 clove garlic

1 Hawaiian chili pepper

1 packet achiote powder

1 cup bone broth

1 cup water

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 can of black olives, drained


2 green cooking bananas

2 Tablespoons achiote oil (optional)


Brown meat in saucepan over medium high heat. If using venison heat 1 tablespoon of oil or lard in pan before adding meat. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper (about 3 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper to taste.) Once meat is brown add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes more.

Add in oregano, cumin, chili pepper, and garlic. Mix until well combined and add bone broth, tomato paste, achiote powder, bone broth, and water. Simmer on low heat until meat is fork tender (2-3 hours). Add in cilantro and olives.

Masa: To remove skin from green banana you first need to cut down the sides of the bananas just through the skin and then cover them with boiling water for 10 minutes. This will soften up the skin so you can remove it easily. Finely grate the banana and add in 1 tablespoon of achiote oil. Form dumplings and drop into simmering stew.

Cook for 10 more minutes. You can also just add in the masa as a thickener rather than making dumplings. Slowly mix in mixture one scoop at a time until desired thickness. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to stew. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.


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