There is technically no such thing as a pasteles maker as of 2016, but machines for making masa are occasionally available on EBay.com. Masa-making machines are essentially food processors with special blades that have fine perforations.
There are many variations on pasteles, but the basic concept is similar to a tamale, with a meat or protein of some kind cloaked in starch or root vegetables ground to a paste and mixed with other ingredients for flavor, color and texture, secured with string in a parchment or banana-leaf envelope and then boiled. Wrapping the pasteles in foil is a feasible option, which saves time.
Traditional recipes are labor-intensive, particularly the making of the "dough," which entails using a box grater to very finely shred fairly tough fruits and vegetables, such as green plantains, green bananas, potatoes, taro root or yucca.
The scale of some recipes yields dozens of pasteles, which requires the grinding of dozens of fruits and vegetables to make the dough. It is not uncommon to find high-powered blenders and food processors mentioned in pasteles recipes as alternatives to box graters for producing a large quantity of fine, smooth masa.
Pasteles are a staple of annual Christmas family dinners in Puerto Rico, although they are also popular for any special occasion. Variations exist throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.