***Directions for Annatto Oil (Achiote) ***
1) Heat the oil in a saucepan, on medium heat, and when it gets hot,turn down the heat to low, and add the achiote seeds.
2) Stir every now and then, for about 5 minutes, or until the oil turns a bright orange.
3) Cool the Achiote oil completely and strain through a paper lined sieve, into a glass container or a can. You can use cheesecloth, if you prefer.
4) Cover, refrigerate and use this oil in the quantities called for.
-Gently simmer the seeds in oil.
1) Shred the Yucca (Careful with the nails) and squeeze thru some cheesecloth to get some of the starch out.
2) Mix the oil, salt, and milk, mixing well to form a smooth mixture.
3) Cut the ham, bacon, and pork meat into very small pieces. Mince the rest of the ingredients.
4) In a large saucepan, cook all the meat along with salt, tomato, cilantro, peppers and onion until the meat is tender. (Seasonings to your taste).
5) Once everything is cooked, add the olives and capers.
6) Cut the banana leaves into APPROXIMATELY 10x10 squares and wilt them over low heat on the stove.
7) Wet the center of the leave with annatto oil (achiote for the ricans) and place about 5 or 6 tablespoons of the yucca mix in the center.
8) Using a spoon, form a well in the center of the mixture and place about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture in the well. Carefully fold the leaf over, in order to cover the meat with yucca on all sides. DO NOT over stuff them. Tie them with cooking twine.
9) Repeat this procedure until all the yucca mixture has been used. You can now freeze or cook them when you are ready.
How to cook the pasteles:
1) In a large, large pot, heat about 4 litres of water and add some salt.
2) Place about 12 pasteles in the water and bring them to a boil.
3) They should cook for about 45 minutes. If you unwrap them and they are not done, re-wrap with the same leave and boil for 10 minutes more.