Papas Rellenas (Cuban Stuffed Potato Balls)

READY IN: 5hrs 15mins




  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot away from the heat. Mash the potatoes or push through a potato ricer. It should be easy to shape into a ball (but don't shape them yet). Allow to set until cool enough to touch.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef and onion until the meat is browned. Stir in the garlic and onion until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drain excess grease. Add the tomato sauce and wine, then lower the heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the olives and season with the spices and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for another 3 minutes then remove from the heat. If the meat mixture is not at the consistency you desire, you can transfer it to a food processor and pulse a few times to hash it up. This is completely optional.
  • Scoop 1/4 cup portions of the potatoes and divide each in half. Press a dimple into the middle of each half to form small bowl like shapes. Stuff a tablespoon or two of the meat mixture into half of the bowls, then cover with the other halves and form a ball around the meat. None of the meat should be exposed.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and flour. Dip each ball first into the beat eggs, then into the bread crumbs. Repeat for a crunchier texture. Layer on a lined baking sheet or large platter and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before frying.
  • Pour enough oil into a frying pan that is enough to cover half of the height of the balls. Heat the oil to 375 °F. Carefully drop the stuffed potatoes in the hot oil and fry on each side for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and serve immediately.