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!
Serves: 8 to 10
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the wine, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and pepper, and cook until the mixture is dry. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
- When potatoes and picadillo are cool, beat the eggs in a small bowl, and put the bread crumbs on a large plate.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.