By Melanie Alvarez of Borikén Restaurant
Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potatoes)
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup sofrito (see notes for sofrito recipe link)
- 1/2 cup yellow onion
- 1/3 cup red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons pitted, chopped manzanilla (Spanish) olives
- 1 teaspoon Adobo powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch dried oregano
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, plus extra for dusting
- 2 pounds potatoes
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Oil for frying
- Salt and pepper to taste
Puerto Rican Picadillo (ground meat for stuffing)
- Heat olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium to high heat. Sauté the sofrito for two to three minutes. After sofrito is slightly brown, turn down the heat to low-medium, and add in the yellow onion with the bell pepper chopped mix. Stir occasionally for two to three minutes.
- Add ground beef, tomato sauce, sliced olives, adobo, garlic powder, oregano, salt to taste. Stir the picadillo until it is evenly mixed and bring heat to medium. Cover pan to hold in moisture and to cook the beef faster.
- Uncover pan occasionally to stir the picadillo. Once the beef is browned and well done, lower heat to reach your desired sauce consistency. However, the picadillo should not be runny.
Potatoes for stuffing
- Peel potatoes and cut into uniformly sized chunks. Place in a pot and cover with water. Salt the water about 2 tablespoons.
- Boil until cooked through and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
- Drain potatoes well and return to pot. Let any excess water evaporate. Mash with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, egg and butter.
- Flour your hands with cornstarch and flatten about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes into a disk in the palm of your hand.
- Add a heaping tablespoon of ground beef to the center of the disk and bring the edges of the potato up and around the ground beef.
- Seal the edges and roll into a smooth ball. Repeat until all the potato has been used up, making sure to coat hands in cornstarch.
- Deep fry the balls in hot oil (at about 350°F) for about 5 minutes, turning as needed until they are golden brown all over.
- Serve plain or with mayonnaise ketchup mix or mojo de ajo (garlic sauce) for dipping, if desired.
Ground turkey can be used in place of ground beef. Homemade sofrito (recaíto) will deliver a more fresh flavored picadillo. For homemade sofrito (recaíto) we recommend this recipe.