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It’s an annual tradition in my parents home to get together and create these Christmas Nacatamales. The recipe is simple really, its just a time consuming process.

My mom doesn’t measure anything so I’ve tried to replicate her recipe as best I can.  Enjoy!

For the dough:IMG_0922

Use your favorite prepared masa 5lbs
6 Cloves of garlic
1 Onion
¼ cup Bitter orange juice
5 cups of homemade mashed potato (this makes the masa moist after cooking)
½ cup of oil
2 cubes Annatto
Salt to taste

For the filling:IMG_0926

1 lb. White potatoes, sliced
3 Tomatoes, sliced (1 per nacatamale)
1 Medium onion, sliced (1 per nacatamale)
3 Green pepper, sliced (1 per nacatamale)
Seedless Green olives (2 per nacatamale)
2 Sprigs mint cut into pieces (1 per nacatamale)
Raisins (1 teaspoon per nacatamale)
Prunes- (1 per nacatamale)
Chili peppers- (1 per nacatamale)
1 cup Uncooked rice (1tablespoon per nacatamale)
2 ½ lbs. Marinated pork cut into pieces (2 pieces per nacatamale)

To marinate the pork:

1 cup Bitter orange juice
1 tbsp. Annatto paste
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. Ground cumin
2 tsp. Onion powder
2 tbsp. Salt
½ cup White vinegar

Needed for preparation:

White paper for Nacatamale
Kitchen twine
Banana leaves, cut into pieces of 1 foot x 6 inches

Purée garlic, and onion and bitter orange juice. Heat oil with Annatto cubes. In a bowl combine masa with all ingredients until thoroughly mixed.

Note: Marinate the pork for at least 2 hours before reaching this step.

Place the banana leaves on a piece of paper. In the center, place 1 cup of masa batter. Add the other ingredients in the following order: 2 seedless green olives, 1 teaspoon raisins, 1 tablespoon of rice, 1potato slices, 1 slice of green pepper, 1 slice of onion, 1 slice of tomato, 1 small sprig of mint, 1 prune, and 1 chili pepper and a few pieces of pork.

Carefully fold the banana leaf to cover all the ingredients. Make sure the contents are completely covered and tightly wrapped. Tie with kitchen twine, forming two knots. Place the nacatamale in a big pot of boiling water and cook for 3 hours. Remove from pot and allow cooling for about 30 min. The masa will be set. If you want to have on the next day, place in a pot of water to boil again with a little salt. Boil to reheat for approx. 45 min.