Photo by Angie Estevez

Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potato Balls)

Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Servings: 10-12 Potato Balls

Recipe and photo contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Angie’s Kitchen Shenanigans.

A while back I posted the recipe for Beef Empanadas (aka: pastelillos de carne) and posted the recipe for the meat filling of these empanadas. I promised that new recipes would follow that would use this same filling.

Well folks, as we say in Puerto Rico (or any Hispanic household) “como lo prometido es deuda” (which coarsely translated means “because something promised becomes a debt”), here is one of many delicious recipes we make that use this filling. Don’t let the ingredients or the prep work for these keep you from making these.

I promise that the people you will be making these for will forevermore thank you.

¡Buen Provecho!


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For the Meat Filling
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté until translucent, add garlic stir then add green pepper (if using), stir until green pepper is tender.
  2. Add ground beef to this mixture and stir continuously until beef is browned. Drain fat and return to skillet. Reduce heat.
  3. Stir in tomato sauce (or tomato paste), vinegar, olives and salt, if needed and oregano. Sauté for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
For the Balls
  1. In a pot, combine potatoes, water, salt and cover and boil at medium heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  2. Drain and immediately mash the potatoes or put it through a ricer. Place in a bowl and then add and mix butter, egg, salt and cornstarch. Let this cool to room temperature.
  3. Divide mixture into 10 to 12 parts. Cover the palm of your hands with cornstarch and spread over hand one part of the mixture. Spoon the center with part of the filling and bring mixture over to cover filling. Coat lightly with cornstarch and proceed with remaining mixture until all balls are ready.
  4. Deep fry in oil heated to 375ºF until golden brown. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.

Chef Notes

You can also stuff the potato balls with shredded cheese or any other meat you choose.

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