Planky Captivation

6 portions

Venezuelan Hallacas

This exclusive meal was designed by Irogenia of Lys. What is known for certain is that the dish was first served in Planky Town and captivated the population. Details differ as to the motives of Irogenia - some say she wanted to impress a powerful lord, others that she was bored with her Dornish suitors, third even suggest some connection between this dish's phenomenal success and the infamous Saltshore incident.


2 packages (16 oz each) preroasted banana leaves

String or foil for tying or wrapping

Guiso Ingredients: 8 oz boneless pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1/4-in. pieces

Guiso Ingredients: 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 thighs), cut into 1/4-in. pieces

Guiso Ingredients: 8 oz beef sirloin steak, cut into 1/4-in. pieces

Guiso Ingredients: 1/2 onion, chopped

Guiso Ingredients: 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Guiso Ingredients: 2 tsp all-purpose seasoning

Guiso Ingredients: 1 cup lemon-lime soda

Filling: 1 lb sliced bacon

Filling: 2 small onions, sliced into half-moons

Filling: 3 bell peppers (1 each green, red, and yellow), sliced 1/4 in. thick

Filling: 1 cup pitted green olives, halved

Filling: 1/3 cup capers, rinsed

Filling: 1/3 cup raisins

Dough Ingredients: 2 Tbsp annatto seeds

Dough Ingredients: 5 Tbsp olive oil

Dough Ingredients: 2 tsp kosher salt

Dough Ingredients: 3 1/4 cups Harina P.A.N. (precooked white cornmeal)


Make Guiso: In a large bowl, combine the pork, chicken, steak, onion, cilantro, scallions and seasoning. Add the soda and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Prepare Filling: Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Bake until browned and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through cooking. Transfer to paper towel–lined plates. When cool, break into pieces. In a large bowl, combine the onions, peppers, olives, capers, raisins and bacon.

Make Dough: In a small saucepan, combine the annatto seeds and olive oil. Cook over medium heat until sizzling, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes until oil has cooled and turned a bright orange-yellow. Strain out the seeds, reserving the oil. Place 4 cups lukewarm water and the salt in a large pot. Add annatto oil to the water. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, switching to a wooden spoon halfway through; continuously stir until dough-like, incorporating all of the cornmeal. Transfer dough to a parchment-lined work surface and let sit 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Knead dough 5 minutes or until smooth.

Cut banana leaves into 8-in. squares. Rinse, wipe and re-rinse banana leaves. With moistened fingers, flatten a heaping Tbsp of dough onto a banana leaf to form a small circle about 1/4 in. thick (dough will expand during cooking).

Top the dough with 2 Tbsp guiso, 1 slice each color pepper, 2 pieces bacon, 1/2 tsp capers, 1/2 tsp raisins and 2 slices onion. Wrap the banana leaf completely around the prepared hallaca and tie to secure. (If banana leaves are split or don't cover filling completely, wrap hallacas in foil.) Repeat with remaining banana leaves, guiso, dough and filling. (You will have 30 to 34 hallacas.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In 2 batches, boil hallacas, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.

Based on this recipe

Venezuelan Hallacas recipe