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Papas Rellenas

Papas rellenas (on Spanish literally: stuffed potatoes) are a popular type of croquettes found in Peru and other Latin American countries. They are similar to a Jewish knish but vary in that the outer layer is mostly mashed potatoes. Knish generally have a much higher flour content to be more of a dough with either little or no potato. The Papas Rellenas have a crisp outside, followed by a fluffy and light layer of mashed potatoes, hiding a delicious, flavourful centre.

I love making these in bulk and watching everyone I make them for devour them. They also freeze really well if you are so inclined.

Give them a try and serve as an appetizer at your next get together!

Papas Rellenas

Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

12 medium red potatoes, about 3 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups plain bread crumbs
2 cups vegetable oil

Preparation:

  1. In a large saucepan add potatoes and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cooking until potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and mash with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow to cool.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, in another large saucepan, heat the olive oil over Medium heat. Add onions and green pepper and cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and ground beef and cook until the beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Salt to taste. Break up the beef while it’s cooking so everything is a fine consistency. Drain off any fat.
  3. Add the wine, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and pepper, and cook until the mixture is dry. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
  4. When potatoes and picadillo are cool, beat the eggs in a small bowl, and put the bread crumbs on a large plate.
  5. Using your hands, form 2 tablespoons of potatoes into a ball and press an opening in the centre. Stuff with meat mixture, then add potato to cover the opening.
  6. Roll to make a neat ball and then dip into the egg mixture. Dredge with bread crumbs to cover thoroughly. Refrigerate the balls for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Add the balls a few at a time and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve hot or at room temperature.