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Pasteles De Yuca As Made By Iván Emilio

by Matthew Johnson featured in Homemade Tamales Around Latin America

Inspired by


for 24 servings

  • 1 cup
    olive oil, divided, plus 2 ounces (60 ml) (240 mL)
  • 2 lb
    boneless pork shoulder, cubed (905 g)
  • 1 cup
    spanish olive, halved crosswise (180 g)
  • ½ cup
    sofrito (65 g)
  • 4 tablespoons
    annatto seasoning, divided
  • 2 teaspoons
    salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cube beef broth cube
  • 1 ½ cups
    water (360 mL)
  • 4 lb
    yucca, peeled (1.8 kg)
  • 1 cup
    beef broth (240 mL)

For Wrapping

  • 12 oz
    banana leaves (340 g)
  • parchment paper
    Calories 286
    Fat 14g
    Carbs 28g
    Fiber 1g
    Sugar 1g
    Protein 8g

Estimated values based on one serving size.



  1. Heat ¼ cup (60 ml) of olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork, olives, sofrito, 1 tablespoon of annatto seasoning, salt, the beef broth cube, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the pork is tender. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. Grate the yuca on the small holes of a box grater. Add to a large bowl filled with water as you are grating so the yuca doesn’t turn brown.
  3. Drain and rinse the yuca, then wrap in a towel and squeeze to extract excess liquid until fully dry.
  4. Add the dry grated yuca to a large bowl with the remaining cup of olive oil, the beef broth, salt to taste, and the remaining 3-4 tablespoons of annatto seasoning. Mix well with your hands to combine.
  5. Cut the banana leaves into 24 10 x 12-inch (25x30 cm) rectangles. Cut parchment paper into rectangles of the same size.
  6. Turn a burner on the stove to high heat. One at a time, pass the banana leaves evenly over the flame for 1 minute or until the banana leaves turn brighter green and become pliable.
  7. To assemble the pasteles, stack a banana leaf over a piece of parchment on a clean work surface. Spread a bit of the pork cooking liquid over the leaf so that the pastel won’t stick. Add about ½ cup (105 G) of the yuca mixture and spread into a square shape. Top with about a tablespoon of meat. To seal, fold the banana leaf and parchment paper in half from bottom to top, then fold the top back over the center and tuck in the sides. Tie with butcher’s twine to secure. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the pasteles, cover, and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the yuca mixture is firm. Remove the pasteles from the water.
  9. Enjoy!