Rellenos de Papa or Stuffed Potato Balls, is a traditional snack found in Puerto Rico restaurants and street vendors. This Puerto Rican recipe is made with potatoes cooked and mashed then formed into small balls and stuffed with a ground beef filling then fried to a golden brown.
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Rellenos de Papa ~ Stuffed Potato Balls
- 2 lbs potatoes peeled and quartered
- 2 qts water
- 1½ tbsp salt to taste
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
Basic Meat Filling (Picadillo)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup white onion diced
- ¼ cup green bell pepper chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lbs ground beef
- 4 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp pimento-stuffed green olives chopped
- 1 tsp brine from green olives
- ½ tsp salt
For the Meat Filling
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté until translucent, add garlic stir then add green pepper, stir until green pepper is tender.
- Add ground beef to this mixture and stir continuously until beef is browned. Drain fat and return to skillet. Reduce heat.
- Stir in tomato sauce, vinegar, olives, salt, and oregano. Sauté for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
For the Balls
- In a pot, combine potatoes, water, salt, and cover and boil at medium heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Drain and immediately mash the potatoes or put them through a ricer. Place in a bowl and then add and mix butter, egg, salt, and cornstarch. Let this cool to room temperature.
- Divide mixture into 10 to 12 parts. Cover the palm of your hands with cornstarch and spread overhand one part of the mixture. Spoon the center with part of the filling and bring the mixture over to cover the filling. Coat lightly with cornstarch and proceed with the remaining mixture until all balls are ready.
- Deep fry in oil heated to 375ºF until golden brown. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
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