Saturday, May 2, 2009


750 gm beef finely chopped
750 gm Pork finely chopped
1 Chicken breast
2 Onions
2 Leeks
4 Spring onions
10 Sweet Scotch bonnets (Aji)
2 cloves Garlic
1 glass Red wine
2 tbsp Oil
Capers and green olives to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar
Salt and Pepper
Filling garnish
100 gm Green olivesSeedless
100 gm Raisins
2 Red peppers Cut julienne style
50 gm Capers
Corn dough (masa)
1 pkt Yellow corn meal
Chicken stock
Ground Onoto (red colouring powder)
1½ cups Water
25 Pc Banana leaves Cut into 30 x 30 cm
25 Pc Banana leaves Cut into 15 x 20 cm
Cooking string (pabilo)
Begin the first day by cooking the filling and refrigerate until the following day.
Check the beef and pork and trim any excess fat, chop the onions, leeks, spring onions, garlic and scotch bonnets and sauté in oil. Then add the meat, (not the chicken) cook for a few minutes, add the red wine, chopped capers and green olives, salt and pepper, then simmer for 30 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cook until the meat is tender.
In a separate pan, boil the chicken until tender, reserving the stock for mixing the corn meal dough. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred, then mix into the chilled stew.
The next day start by preparing the banana leaves. Remove the hard stem from each leaf and cut into strips approximately 30 x 30 cm and 15 x 20, then carefully wash the leaves and dry them.
To prepare the dough you have to be Venezuelan. You need to watch your mother making arepas and empanadas from a very early age. How much water do you add to the dough? It’s a mystery. The problem is that corn meal dough is not made to a recipe; you are just born knowing how to do it. But don’t despair, corn meal is very forgiving, if it turns out too dry, add more water, too sloppy, add more corn meal. A good tip is to always add the dry ingredients to the liquid. The general idea is to add the corn meal to the water, chicken stock, onoto and salt.
Set up your work area with containers of the stew, banana leaves, corn dough, a plate with some vegetable oil mixed with some onoto powder, red bell peppers, capers, raisins, green olives and you are ready to start.
Oil your fingers and a square of banana leaf with the oil and onoto. Next take an orange sized ball of dough, place it in the centre of the leaf and gently pat it into a circle. The place two spoonfuls of the stew in the centre, garnish with the raisins, capers, olives and finally two strips of red pepper. Bring the opposite side of the leaf towards you and fold on top of the stew, separating the dough from the leaf as you do so. Do the same with each side until you are left with a rectangular shape of dough and all of the filling has been covered. Parcel the hallaca in a couple of leaves and tie with a string.
Cook your hallacas in salted boiling water for 20 minutes, remove from the water and open carefully to eat. They will keep in the fridge for a week or more, and to reheat them boil again for 15 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment