Hallacas

Hallaca is the typical Christmas Venezuelan dish. Just like arepas and empanadas. Hallacas are made with the same dough (from cornmeal).

Hallacas represent the mixed races that gave rise to the Venezuelan people. The native ingredients are corn, and annatto; the African ingredient is plantain leaves (used for wrapping the hallaca), and the European ingredients are the ones used in the preparation of the stew, and in the decoration: olives, capers, and bell peppers. Unfortunately, we only make hallacas from November to January.

Its preparation requires the participation of the whole family since it is a process that involves a lot of hard work.
On this website, we offer one of the hundreds of recipes for making Hallacas:

Ingredients for the stew (30 hallacas)

2 kg chopped beef
1 kg cooked and shredded chicken (keep the broth)
6 chopped onions
4 chopped leeks
100 g brown sugar
4 chopped bell peppers
1 can of tomato purée
500 ml sweet red wine
Corn oil, sugar, salt, and pepper

Making

The stew should be made one day in advance as it needs to be completely cool and settled. Heat a little bit of oil in a pot; add the onions, leek, bell pepper and sugar. When it caramelizes, add the beef. Once the beef has changed color add the wine and the tomato purée. Pour in some of the chicken broth, salt and pepper, and cook for an hour and a half. Add the chicken, and let it stand in the fridge until the following day.

Ingredients for making the dough:

2 kg Corn flour (Harina P.A.N.)
5 lt of liquids (broth and water)
Salt
Annatto (dissolved in hot oil and strained)

Making:

Salt the liquid, then add the annatto and the cornmeal. Knead it well until the dough is smouth. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

For the decoration:

500 g raisins
4 sliced onions
500 g green stuffed olives
4 sliced red bell peppers
200 g capers
200 g almonds

Plantain leaves for wrapping, and thread for tying.

Place a ball of dough on one of the oiled plantain leaves, flatten it, and then add a tablespoon of the stew, complete with decoration, and wrap it up as if it was a gift. Wrap it again with another bigger leaf, and tie it with the thread.

Boil for 30 minutes, take it out, and leave it to drain. It can be served immediately or stored in the fridge. They last for two weeks.