Instant Pot Pastele Stew

Taylor Pelton
4 to 6 servings
50 minutes
This comforting Puerto Rican-inspired Hawaiian stew tastes like it was cooked all day with a little help from the quick-cooking Instant Pot. Tender braised pork infused with tomato, aromatic spices, cilantro, hot chili, and black olives will fill your home with an intoxicating aroma and leave you deliciously satisfied.
Instant Pot Pastele Stew
  • 2 pounds pork butt, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup achiote oil*
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 to 3 Hawaiian hot chilis, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped + more to garnish
  • 1, 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1, 6 ounce can pitted black olives, drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1, 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Hawaiian salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

*To make your own achiote oil, combine 1/4 vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of achiote seeds in a small pot. Cook over medium heat until fragrant and red, about 5 to 8 minutes. Carefully strain and discard achiote seeds.


Step 1

Set a 6-quart Instant Pot to the sauté setting and allow to pre-heat. Meanwhile, season pork butt liberally with salt and pepper. Add achiote oil to the pot then carefully add pork butt and cook until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2

Next add bell pepper, celery, yellow onion, garlic, hot chilis, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and cilantro, along with a good pinch of salt, and sauté until cooked down and aromatic, about 5 to 8 minutes. Then add tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until brick red.

Step 3

Add the olives, chicken broth, and crushed tomatoes, and stir until well combined. Set Instant Pot to meat/stew setting for 35 minutes.

Step 4

Allow steam to fully release before opening. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired and serve immediately.