pastele stew

Marlene Nakamoto
January 17, 2019

Pasteles are a traditional Puerto Rican dish. Although they're especially favored around Christmas, we eat them year-round in Hawaii.  

Making pasteles is a labor-intensive project, but making pastele stew is much easier. Here’s a cherished recipe from a local family. 



6 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves
1 bunch green onion
1 large onion
1 large bunch cilantro
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. oregano
2 6-oz. cans pitted black olives, drained
2 (0.17 oz.) packets Sazon Goya coriander and annatto seasoning
1 Tbsp. dried red pepper flakes
5 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
Chopped cilantro or sprigs for garnish


In a large pot over high heat, brown pork in batches. (No need to use any oil.) Discard fat. 

Puree garlic, green onion, onion, and cilantro in a food processor. Add mixture to the pot with salt, pepper, oregano, olives, seasoning packets, pepper flakes, tomato sauce, and 1 cup of the water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Garnish with cilantro. Makes 15 servings. 

Note: For a soupier stew, add an additional can of tomato sauce and 1 cup water. 

Per serving: Calories 640, protein 43 g, carbohydrates 10 g, total fat 46 g, saturated fat 15 g, cholesterol 170 mg, sodium 1,170 mg, fiber 3 g, total sugar 4 g

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