Pastelles- Cornmeal meat pies

23
10
Joined Jan 3, 2002
I have been thinking about what recipe to post next. As I spent most of the day yesterday making these I figured I would give this recipe to you. But first, a little history. Pastelles, came to us from the original spanish recipe for cornmeal and minced meat steamed in banana leaves. This is now a traditional Christmas classic. The Europeans ( mainly French and Spanish and to a lesser extent Portugese and Dutch) also settled in the territories they captured during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and have passed on some of their delicious rich pastries, meat dishes, salad dressings and spicy methods of seasoning.

Pastelles (derived from Pastelitos)- little cornmeal pies filled with meat

Dough
2c cornmeal
3c water
3tbsp oil or 4tbsp butter
2tbsp sugar
1 1/2tsp salt

Filling
1lb minced meat ( usually beef, chicken, pork or soya)
2tbsp olives
3tbsp capers
1/2c raisins
1 onion,minced
3 cloves garlic. minced
1/2c tomato ketchup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce or Angostura bitters
1 bunch herbs including thyme, basil, chives
oil

Wrapping
banana leaves
foil
oil

For the Dough
1. Put corn into mixing bowl.
2. Add salt, sugar and oil to corn.
3.Slowly pour warm water into corn mixture and blend. Keep adding water until dough is smooth and not sticky. Allow for corn to absorb water.

For the Filling
1. Heat oil and saute chopped herbs.
2. Add meat and cook thoroughly.
3. Add minced garlic and onions, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.
4. Add chopped olives, capers and raisins and simmer on reduced heat until meat is tender and until flavour is developed.

Making the Pastelle
There are two methods used one with banana leaves and the other with foil. The banana leaf is lengthy but gives the pastelle a unique flavour. Pre-cut foil is a quicker way to wrap the pastelle but it doesn't have the same flavor.

Banana leaf.
"1.Wilt in boiling water. Wipe leaves dry and cut into serving sizes. Rub the leaf with oil . Spread a small ball of corn on the leaf and pat down. Here you may use a pastelle press to spread out the corn into a flat circle. Put a tablespoon of meat filling in the certre. Add a few pieces of cut raisins, olives and capers.

2. Fold half of leaf over and bring with it the corn spread. Bring the other half over to cover. Now fold leaf to make a parcel. Place onto another leaf on opposite grain. If foil is used, omit the second leaf covering and tightly fold over the ends. If leaves are used, tie with string. Put into boiling water to which was added salt and sugar to taste. They may also be steamed." (Sylvia Hunt's Cooking, Revised Edition)

If using foil instead of banana leaf just cut pieces of foil to accomodate the size of the ball of corn. Use another piece of foil rubbed with oil, to flatten the ball. Here you may also use the pastelle press. Add a tbsp. of the meat filling and fold in half. Fold up the sides of the foil to seal the pastelle. These may be steamed or boiled for 30mins or until the corn is cooked.

Yield
1lb meat filling yields 2 dozen pastelles
Dough recipe yields approx. 2 dozen pastelles.

N.B When pastelles are cold, they remain in whatever shape they were put.


If this recipe is too long and you would like something simpler to try let me know. I am just giving you some of the more popular dishes.:lips:
 
53
10
Joined Jan 8, 2002
must be a kissing cousin of Cornish Pasties....so good on a chilly evening. Simple to make, too. Ashamed to admit it, but had a fantastic one at the Millenium Dome a couple years back.
Thanks for your recipe!
-Andrew
 
23
10
Joined Jan 3, 2002
To tell you the truth I have heard of Cornish pasties but never saw one or had one before in my life. But I searched online and I found a picture of it. I agree, it must be relative, the one I saw had much more filling than what we usually put in the pastelles but its about the same idea.:lips:
 
1,046
11
Joined Apr 19, 2001
These remind me of the Jamaician meat pies I see in the supermarkets - same origin, I assume? I LOVE them, especially the spicy ones!
 
386
11
Joined May 11, 2001
Thanks islandflava. Your recipes all look delicious. These remind me a great deal of Mexican tamales. The only difference is the seasoning of the filling.

I also noticed that the recipes you have posted have many similarities to some Filipino dishes. It must be due to the Spanish influences in both cultures.
 
23
10
Joined Jan 3, 2002
I am happy to post the recipes. Its just that there are so many I don't know what to post next. It seems that the Jamaican patties came about out of necessity and were created by Jamaicans. Trinindadian pastelles were passed down by the Spanish folks who lived here. I also found a Puerto Rican pork pie recipe that is similar called Pastillos de Carne de Cerdo. I have a neighbour too who is from Venezuela and she makes her pastelles with chunks of pork, beef and chicken, they are huge! :chef:
 

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