|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 16|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 17g||22%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||22%|
|Total Carbohydrate 10g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 7mg||34%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This recipe for fried potato balls, known as papa rellenas, is stuffed with seasoned ground beef, tomato sauce, and spices. A favorite Caribbean street food, there are many versions of fried or baked potato balls with a variety of fillings throughout the Caribbean. In this recipe, the potato balls are shaped into a ball and deep-fried. Plan ahead and simply make a larger batch of mashed potatoes and use the leftovers for these potato balls.
These potato balls can be made in whatever size that you want, whether it be large or small. Miniature potato balls are perfect for snacks, appetizers, or party trays. Large papas rellenas make a filling lunch, side dish, or hand-held snack.
Have some dipping sauce on hand to dunk these into. Try some hot sauce, or for a milder dip, ranch dressing or a roasted aioli dip would be good.
"The papas rellenas were delicious, especially dipped in ketchup. Make sure to let the potatoes cool and dust your hands with cornstarch to keep the mixture from sticking to them. Also, because sofrito can be a bit salty, I recommend tasting the filling before adding salt." —Diana Rattray
2 pounds hot mashed potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons cornstarch, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
4 tablespoons sofrito
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Mix together the hot mashed potatoes, eggs, butter and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Set aside and let cool.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, stirring to break up the meat, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the sofrito, tomato sauce, oregano and salt to the cooked ground beef. Mix thoroughly. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Dust your hands lightly with cornstarch. Spread a spoonful of the potato dough mix in the palm of your hand. Make an indentation in the middle and stuff it with the meat mixture.
Cover the filling with more potato dough. Shape into a ball. Dust the ball lightly with the remaining cornstarch.
Repeat until mix is used up.
Fill a pot with 2 inches of oil and heat to 370 F. Deep fry the stuffed potato balls until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Make sure the potatoes are completely cooled before shaping the papas rellenas.
- If the potato dough is still too soft and sticky, add a little more cornstarch. It might also help to place a sheet of plastic wrap on your hand to keep the potato mixture from sticking.
- When adding the papas rellenas to the hot oil, gently move them around for a few seconds to keep them from sticking to the pan or frying basket.
- The internal temperature of the papas rellenas should be about 160 F to 165 F when done.
- If you have leftover filling, use it to make tacos or add it to a grilled cheese sandwich or mac and cheese.
There are a few things you can do to change up this recipe, here are just a couple:
- Omit the ground beef and stuff with cheese, or just leave out the beef.
- Add some chopped onions into the ground beef mixture when cooking.
How to Store
- Refrigerate leftover papas rellenos for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, place them on a rack in a rimmed sheet pan and heat them in a 400 F oven for about 10 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 F.
Why Do My Potato Balls Fall Apart?
It is important to let the mashed potato mixture cool down before stuffing them and forming into a ball for deep frying. If they are warm, they will fall apart, and not hold the shape. Step away and let the potatoes cool. Patience is key to making these potato balls.