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Pastele Stew


Looking to kick your normal Pastele recipe up a notch? You have to try this delicious Pastele Stew with pork, zesty Spanish spices, fresh cilantro, Hawaiian chili peppers, and masa made from green bananas. This hearty pork stew recipe is perfect to serve any time of the year but especially when you need a mouthful of warmth.

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Rate this recipe 3.7/5 (150 Votes)


  • STEW:
  • 4 pounds pork butt, cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 bundles cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 5 Hawaiian chili peppers
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 can pitted whole olives
  • MASA:
  • 8 green bananas, I used 4 and it was plenty
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • achiote seeds


Servings 8
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 175mins
Adapted from


Step 1

First, slice the skin of the green bananas all the way down on each side lengthwise, then soak green bananas in really hot water, just under a boil, for 5 to 10 minutes. This makes removing the skin very easy. Peel bananas and grate, using a fine grater, into a bowl. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in an old pot and add achiote seeds. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes and remove from heat. Keep oil in a pot and allow to cool. You can store oil for later use in a glass jar. Use extreme caution when working with achiote oil, as it will stain.

Cut meat into cubes and chop onions, bell peppers, cilantro, chili peppers, and garlic. Cook pork with oil in a large pot, adding salt and pepper. Add cumin and oregano. Add onions, bell peppers, garlic, chili peppers, and cilantro to pot and cook for 30 minutes. Add 3 cups water and cook another 45 minutes.

Taste and add additional salt, pepper, and seasonings, if necessary. Add tomato paste and cook another 30 minutes. Add half of the achiote oil to the stew, stir well, then add remaining oil. Add olives and green banana (masa) one large spoon at a time, slowly, until desired thickness is achieved.


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