Recipe courtesy of Milly's Empanada Factory

Milly's Famous Pabe-Yoyo

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 3 hr 10 min
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Carne Mechada (Shredded Beef):

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced 

1/4 green bell pepper, diced

1/4 red bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup chopped green onions 

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and some stems) 

1 teaspoon ground cumin 

Pinch dried oregano 

2 tablespoons achiote oil 

Sea salt 

2 pounds skirt steak 

Caraotas (Black Beans):

8 ounces dried black beans

1 green bell pepper, quartered

3/4 cup chopped green onions 

1/2 bunch cilantro (leaves and some stems), chopped

3 bay leaves

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 teaspoon oregano 

1 teaspoon ground cumin 


Yo-Yos (Plantain Sandwiches):

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 ripe sweet plantains, peeled and quartered 

Four 3-inch blocks queso blanco or mozzarella, plus for shredding

8 slices sweet ham 


1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon sea salt 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1 teaspoon sugar 

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

Salsa Tartara:

2 cups mayonnaise

1 1/2 cups fresh Italian parsley (leaves and some stems) 

1/2 yellow onion 

1/2 green pepper 

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup water 

1 tablespoon white vinegar 

1 teaspoon sugar 

Canola oil, for frying


  1. For the carne mechada: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onions, green peppers, red peppers and garlic. Then add the green onions, cilantro, cumin, oregano, achiote oil (for coloring) and a pinch of sea salt. Cook down all the vegetables for about 20 minutes. Set the sofrito aside.
  2. In a large deep pan, combine the skirt steak, 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon sea salt. Cook beef for 2 hours, until tender. Once cooked, shred the beef by hand into a bowl and then slowly mix in the sofrito, seasoning the beef in its entirety.
  3. For the caraotas: In a deep saucepan, submerge the black beans in 4 cups water. Add the green peppers, green onions, cilantro, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, until the beans are tender.
  4. For the yo-yos: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced plantains slowly into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the plantains from the pan and flatten by pressing down with a plate.
  5. To build the yo-yos, place a block of queso blanco and two slices of ham on top of four of the flattened plantain slices. Top with the remaining four slices.
  6. For the batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups water and the egg yolk, salt, baking soda and sugar. Gradually mix in 2 cups of the flour. As the batter starts to thicken, slowly add the rest of the flour while whisking. Once the batter has thickened, dip the yo-yos into the batter, making sure they're evenly covered.
  7. For the salsa tartara: In a blender, blend the parsley, onion, pepper, garlic, vinegar, sugar and 1/2 cup water. Remove to a bowl and fold in the mayonnaise.
  8. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pan. Fry the battered yo-yos for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a plate and pat dry. Slice open the yo-yos and add a layer of caraotas followed by a layer of carne mechada. Shred queso blanco on top, and finish off with some salsa tartara.