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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Milly's Empanada Factory, Miami, FL
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