Trinis love a good holiday celebration, especially when it comes to food. Pastelles are a traditional delicacy during the Christmas season in Trinidad. Although widely found around the Caribbean, pastelles actually originated in Venezuela.
So on the second day of Christmas DutyFree gives to you...a pastelles recipe.
1.5 lb ground meat (beef/chicken/pork)
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 pimento pepper
1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup tomato sauce/ ketchup
3tbs Capers (optional)
2 Tbs olives, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbs fresh thyme
For the Cornmeal outer layer:
2 cups yellow cornmeal
3 cups warm water
1/2 cup butter
11/4 tsp salt
Banana leaves for wrapping and about 2 tbs of vegetable oil for brushing the leaves.
1. Combine beef with chicken. Add salt and black pepper.
2. In a large sauce pan heat olive oil, add onion, garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add pimento peppers, add remaining chive, pepper, and thyme, add meat and cook until brown.
3. Add tomato sauce cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Add raisins, capers and olives and stir to combine.
5. Cook for about five minutes more, taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat and cool.
As the filling cools it’s time to prepare the dough.
1. Combine cornmeal, water, salt, and butter to make a soft pliable dough. Divide the dough into small balls (about 12). Cover with damp cloth to prevent drying
2. Dip the ball in the oil. Place on an oiled fig leaf. Use a wooden press to help flatten out the dough. Spoon about 2 tbsp meat filling to the centre of the dough.
3. Fold the fig leaf and tie into a neat package using the string. Place in a pot of water and boil for 15-20 minutes. When cooked, drain the water.
What are some traditional dishes enjoyed on your island around Christmas time?
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