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Venezuelan Hallacas

Learn how to make at home our Traditional Holiday Venezuelan Hallacas with this traditional recipe.
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 4 hrs
Servings 50 hallacas

Ingredients
  

B A N A N A L E A V E S & A S S E M B L Y

  • 5 banana leaves packs (frozen)
  • heavy duty butcher twine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

M E A T S T E W

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp onoto (achiote seeds)
  • 1 k chicken tights
  • 1 k pork (with bone & fat)
  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced and chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, fresh & chopped
  • 4 cups boiled black beans
  • 4 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup Heinz 57 sauce
  • 5 dry bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • red cooking wine

D O U G H

  • 1 1/2 package yellow Harina PAN
  • chicken broth
  • 1 cup achiote oil

T O P P I N G S

  • chickpeas
  • olives
  • raisins

Instructions
 

BANANA LEAVES

  • Clean the banana leaves with a damp cloth and cut them carefully with scissors (careful not to break the leaf)
  • Cut the leaves in squares of approximate 30x30cm size

MEATS

  • One night before, in a large pot with water add your chicken with salt and liquid chicken seasoning
  • Using KitchenAid cordless food chopper, add olive oil, garlic, onions, peppers, leeks and chop until you see a soft mix. Add it to the chicken and let it boil for 25 minutes.
  • In a large baking tray, add your pork, salt, 57 sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaf, pepper and olive oil. Set your oven to 350 and cook the pork for 45 minutes.
  • After both are done, cut the meats in little cubes and mix them together in a large bowl.

MEAT STEW

  • Using a large pan, add olive oil and onoto and wait until you see the oil turning into a yellowish/orange colour.
  • All the remaining veggies you chopped earlier (as a sofrito) to the pot followed by the meats. Cook it for 10 minutes until it is mixed.
  • Add 57 sauce, worcestershire sauce and finish with a drizzle of red wine.
  • To make the spicy black bean stew, just mix the pork/chicken with black beans and top with hot sauce
  • Turn off the heat and let the mix cool overnight.

DOUGH

  • Using all your chicken broth, add to a large bowl your achiote oil, harina PAN and broth. Mix with your hands to remove lumps and until you see a formed dough
  • Let it rest for 5 minutes to thicken
  • Set aside

ASSEMBLY

  • Place a banana leaf on a flat surface and add a drizzle of oil
  • Spread in the middle of the leaf your dough ball and press with a wooden presser until you have a flat dough
  • Fill on top with your meat stew with a spoon
  • Start adding the toppings of your choice: 2 olives, 6 raisins, 5 chickpeas
  • To close the hallacas, take the top bottom edhes of the leaf and attach them together. Fold until it is completely sealed, followed by the two ends to the inside.
  • Use a second banana leaf and repeat the same folding, to protect the hallaca.
  • Tie the hallacas with heavy duty cooking twine, cross them two to three times (like wrapping a gift!)

COOKING

  • Using a large pot with water, add 2 tbs of salt and let it boil
  • Add your hallacas and let them boil for at least 30 to 35 minutes
  • Drain them and let them rest for 5 minutes before opening them