//Venezuela and its Hallaca at Christmas – Gustavo Mirabal Castro
Full Venezuelan Christmas dish Hallacas pork leg salad and ham bread

Venezuela and its Hallaca at Christmas – Gustavo Mirabal Castro

Every country has its typical Christmas dish, something special and delicious that invites the family union. In Venezuela there is a mysterious Christmas dish called “Hallaca”. But … What is the Hallaca? How is the hallaca prepared? How do you eat it? These and many more questions we will clear in this article

In Venezuela the typical Christmas dish has several components:

1- Ham bread: a bread stuffed with ham in the form of rolled up, with raisins and olives.

2-Hen Salad: A potato salad, carrot, mayonnaise-based sauce and shredded hen. Sometimes peas and soda crackers are placed in small pieces.

3- The fabulous hallaca: This is a unique dish from Venezuela. The hallaca has many variants according to the region of Venezuela.

Three totally different dishes but together they are an explosion of flavors.

How to make Hallacas (part 1 of 3

Since what date in the year when do you eat the Hallaca in Venezuela?

Venezuelans love their typical Christmas dish and that is why since October they are buying the ingredients to prepare them. They don’t want anything to escape them.

And it is that doing hallacas is not so easy. In fact, it is a lot of work for only one person, so families usually get together to prepare them.

Venezuela and its Christmas Hallaca

In Venezuela, talking about Hallaca and talking about Christmas are practically synonymous.

When you think or talk about Christmas in Venezuela, the first thing you think is: Venezuela and its found.

The hallaca is something traditional that can not miss the night of December 24 and December 31.

A Christmas without a find is not Christmas, Venezuelans say.

This meal is the most popular as of November in all restaurants in the country. Although since October there are establishments that announce the availability of the dish.

In Venezuela you eat tasty and its cuisine is very varied. However, in Christmas and New Year they send the hallacas.

Venezuela and its Christmas Hallacas - Gustavo Mirabal
Venezuela and its Christmas Hallacas – Gustavo Mirabal

Foods served with the hallaca

For the Venezuelan Christmas dish to be complete, several companions are required, these are:

The ham bread, the oven-roasted leg and the fabulous hen salad.

These foods are the perfect complement to the hallaca.

But how is all this prepared?

Full Venezuelan Christmas dish Hallacas pork leg salad and ham bread
Full Venezuelan Christmas dish Hallacas pork leg salad and ham bread

Preparation of the hallaca

We have talked about Venezuela and its hallaca, but what is the hallaca and how is it prepared …? A hallaca is a food based on corn and meat. The layers of corn wrap the meat stew with a multitude of flavors and condiments.

We tell you a little more below:

A hallaca is a food that is made with various ingredients mixed together.

The main base of the hallaca is the stew. A stew that is not like any other made of tomato and onion tip. No. This is a special stew.

The stew

For this you must have the following foods:

Two kilos of lean meat to cook, a kilo and a half of chicken breast (must be cut into squares), a kilo and a half of pork (diced), a kilo and a half of bacon.

You should also have a cup of vegetable oil on hand (there are those who use butter), a pinch of color and onoto.

Two large peppers, four large onions, three garlic, eight sweet peppers, six scallions (it can be spring onions, scallions or green onions), a garlic head.

The stew of the hallaca should have a cup and a half of capers, a cup of olives, a cup of cornmeal and a liter and a half of chicken broth.

To all that mixture is applied salt and pepper to taste.

Stew Preparation

Once you have all the food, clean and chopped very small they should be placed in separate containers on the table.

The next step is to place the oil in a pot along with the color or onoto. When the oil turns the color, the garlic and onion should be added to saute.

The next to go to the pan or pot you are using are garlic and chives. Once they are being softened, place the paprika and sweet pepper, then olives and capers.

Once they are well fried, we must add the liquid from the olives if you want to. And also the chicken broth is added. Then the chopped bacon is added.

Subsequently you have to place the beef and pork.

Then you have to let it cook for an hour. At the end of that time the chicken is placed for 30 minutes.

At the end of that half hour you should add cornmeal to thicken it.

Preparing the Venezuelan Hallaca
Preparing the Venezuelan Hallaca

The mass for the hallacas

Once the stew is finished you have to make the dough that surrounds the hallacas.

This dough is made with yellow cornmeal and only requires water and salt, although there are those who like to flavor the dough. It can be flavored using oil, chicken broth and onoto

Once the dough is ready … the banana leaves should be prepared.

Banana leaves should be washed and dried very well before using them.

Once they are ready then they are placed on the table, a little oil is added so that the dough does not stick.

First make a dough ball and place it on the banana leaf, crush it and water it in a circle.

Then you have to take a spoonful of stew or two, as you prefer, then come the raisins and olives.

finally the leaf is closed by wrapping it and tied with a wick.

And so follow the procedure until the stew is over. The next step is to boil them in hot water for twenty minutes, maximum half an hour.

Recall that the filling of the hallaca is already cooked.

Assembling the Hallaca with the ornaments
Assembling the Hallaca with the ornaments

Hen Salad

The hen salad is very easy to make and the procedure is not as long as that of the hallaca.

To prepare it you need potatoes, carrots, chicken and mayonnaise.

The first step is to wash the hen very well and put it to cook, once ready it must be separated into strips by hand.

The next thing is to wash and chop the carrots and potatoes very small.

When they are ready and the shredded hen is then placed in a single container to apply the mayonnaise.

Stir until all the ingredients are mixed and ready.

Add a few sprigs of parsley to decorate and ready.

There are people who like this apple salad. Which should be chopped small and added to everything else.

Delicious Hen Salad
Delicious Hen Salad

Christmas pork leg

The baked pork leg is a dish that can not be missing on the Christmas table of Venezuelans.

To prepare this succulent dish you must have the following Ingredients:

  • A pork leg of 6 kilos.
  • Two large onions
  • 20 cloves of garlic
  • Half cup of oil
  • Two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • Nine teaspoons of salt
  • Add 1/4 cup of wine vinegar
  • Half a cup of cooking wine
  • One teaspoon ground pepper
Christmas pork leg
Christmas pork leg

They are followed by two teaspoons of oregano, a sprig of thyme, two bay leaves, two cups of orange juice 1/4 cup raisins.

A sprig of chopped parsley should be attached. Two tablespoons of grated orange peel, a teaspoon of salt, a lemon.

Additionally, a sauce is made to pour on the leg before putting it in the oven.

To prepare it you must have:

  • Half a cup of sweet wine.
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • A spoonful of Worcestershire sauce
  • One of flour.

The day before preparing the leg, a marinade should be prepared by liquefying the chopped onion, crushed garlic and oil.

Already on the day of preparation, the marinade is poured into a container and the English sauce, 7 tsp of salt, pepper, vinegar, wine, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, orange juice are added, the raisins, the chopped parsley and the grated orange peel.

Then you have to eliminate the extra fat that the pig brings, you have to wash it well and rub the piece of pernil with lemon …

Ham bread

Christmas Ham Bread
Christmas Ham Bread

Ham bread is the other companion of the Christmas dish of Venezuela.

It is a long and wide bread stuffed with ham, raisins and olives.

Venezuela is a beautiful country with exquisite gastronomic traditions.

It should be noted that in each region of the country people make the hallaca to their liking and add other ingredients such as egg and chickpea.

But the structure that we mentioned initially is always respected.

Be that as it may, Venezuela and its Christmas holiday are the sensation.

Even for those who have emigrated eating this succulent dish outside Venezuela is a delicacy and the most daring gather to do it together.

This in order to revive the Creole tradition of joining as a family to celebrate the arrival of the most beautiful and joyful time of the year: Christmas, the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords: Jesus Christ.

We left you with another video about Hallacas preparation. Enjoy it

How to make Venezuelan Hallacas




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