Hallacas

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds diced beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds diced pork
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground chile peppers
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup sliced stuffed olives
  • 3 cups cornmeal
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Instructions

  1. Combine the beef, pork, water, and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.
  2. Drain and chop coarsely. Add the chickpeas, mixing lightly.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the tomatoes, onions, peppers, chile, parsley, 2 teaspoons of the salt, vinegar, sugar and the meat mixture. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the capers, raisins and olives. Mix lightly. Set aside.
  5. Mix the cornmeal with a little cold water. Add to the boiling water in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Add the butter and remaining salt. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the eggs, beating until a smooth dough is formed.
  7. Butter a 3-quart round or square baking dish. Line it with 2/3 of the cornmeal mixture and pour the meat mixture into it. Spread the remaining corn meal on top. Cover the dish with a piece of foil and tie it. Place in a pan of water.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.
  9. Venezuelan method: The dish is prepared in the form of tamales. Banana leaves are used for wrapping the hallacas, but foil or parchment paper will serve as a substitute.
  10. Cut 10-inch squares of either paper. Spread about 4 tablespoons of the cornmeal dough in the center and press as thin as possible. Place 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture on the dough and fold over, sealing the edges as well as possible. If the dough breaks, patch it with a little more dough. Fold the paper around the hallacas carefully and tie it securely. If foil is used, it is not necessary to tie it. Boil in a large saucepan of salted water for 1 1/2 hours.
  11. Serve in the papers.

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