Puerto Rican Tamales

Puerto Rican Tamales
Level
Challenging
Prep
45 minutes
Cook
110 minutes
Servings
12 tamales
  • These Puerto Rican Tamales take a little time but are well worth the effort. The filling is a delicious combination of pork, chiles, garbanzo beans, olives and raisins. Instead of masa made out of corn flour, this version uses a mixture of yautia, green bananas and plaintain. Yautia, also called malanga, is in the same family as taro root and can be found in Latin American markets.

The Secret Ingredient

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup achiote paste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons MAGGI Granulated Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 5 ajies, seeded and chopped or 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced green olives with pimiento
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 pound yautia (or yucca or taro root), peeled and cut
  • 1 pound unripe green bananas, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 unripe green plantain, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 12 plantain leaves, cut into 12 x 10-inch rectangles

Make It

Step 1

Combine achiote paste and oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; set aside. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes. Oil will turn red in color.

Step 2

Combine pork, orange juice, garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon bouillon and pepper in a large, resealable freezer bag. Shake bag and press with fingers to distribute seasoning in meat. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Step 3

Remove pork from marinade; reserve marinade. Dry pork meat with paper towel.

Step 4

Heat 2 tablespoons achiote oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add pork; cook for 4 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, ajies (or red bell pepper) and cilantro. Continue to cook for 6 minutes.

Step 5

Stir in reserved marinade; cover. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Uncover; stir in garbanzo beans, olives, raisins and capers.

Step 6

Place yautia, green bananas and plantain in food processor; pulse until smooth. Add evaporated milk; pulse to form a puree texture.

Step 7

Transfer masa into a large mixing bowl; add remaining teaspoon bouillon and 3 tablespoons achiote oil. Stir to combine.

Step 8

Drain and discard any excess cooking liquid from pork mixture (approximately ¼ cup).

Step 9

Wipe plantain leaves clean with a moist paper towel.

Step 10

Brush each leaf on one side with achiote oil. Spread ¼ cup masa on leaf and spread to 4 x 3-inch oval. Top with 2 1/2 tablespoons pork filling.

Step 11

Place plantain leaf over a 12-inch-square of parchment paper.

Step 12

Fold bottom of leaf, then top edge, then fold sides, forming a packet. Repeat with parchment paper. Tie with kitchen string. Repeat, making packets with remaining ingredients.

Step 13

Add water to bottom of a tamal steamer. Water should barely be below the rack. Boil water over medium heat.

Step 14

Arrange tamales flat in steamer; cover with damp kitchen towel. Cover with lid; cook over medium heat for 50 to 60 minutes or until masa pulls away from the leaf.