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A traditional Caribbean dish made up of a meat stuffed cornmeal pie which is usually wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. The Puerto Rican version is what we are accustomed to here; made with green bananas and a savory achiote flavored pork filling.


While it is a time consuming dish to prepare, a co-worker friend of mine shared her recipe for the dish baked as a casserole instead of the individual wrapped parcels.

Posted By: Deirdre K Todd
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Prep Time: 45 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Ready In: 1 hour 15 minutes
Ingredients: Print   Add to cart
US Metric
  • ½ c. achiote oil (Recipe follows)
  • 15-20 green bananas, (about 6 c. after grated)
  • hot water, as needed
  • 1+2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 ½ lbs. boneless pork, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (8 oz.) can El Pato Mexican tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches cilantro, stems removed, chopped
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 Hawaiian chili peppers, chopped
  • 1 (7 oz.) can pitted black olives, drained
  • 4 large ti leaves
  • Achiote Oil:
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • ¼ c. achiote/annato seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Cooking Process:

Oil: In a saucepan over medium heat, cook seeds in oil 10-12 minutes; until color is a deep orange. Remove from heat; stir in allspice, peppercorns and red pepper. Allow to steep overnight. Strain. Use as desired to flavor beef/pork dishes, rice etc. Makes 1 cup.


Soak whole bananas in hot water 10 minutes. Peel; finely grate into a bowl. Add all but 3 tablespoons of achiote oil and 1 teaspoon of salt; mix well. Set aside. In a processor or with a mortar and pestle, grind garlic, oregano, remaining 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Transfer into a mixing bowl with pork; marinate 15 minutes. In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown pork with garlic mixture in 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir in tomato sauces and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add onion, bell pepper, onion, parsley, garlic, chili peppers, olives and bananas. Simmer 1 hour; stirring as needed. Preheat oven to 450 degrees; line a 13x9-inch baking pan with 2 ti leaves; drizzle with remaining tablespoon of achiote oil. Spread onto ti leaves. Transfer mixture into prepared pan; cover with remaining ti leaves. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place pan into larger roasting pan filled with 1-inch of water. Bake 30-40 minutes.

how to serve:
Serve with lots of rice. Pass the chili-pepper-water please. Serves 12.