It’s the last recipe day of our potato themed month. And once again, I’m ignoring Irish cuisine despite my intent. I’ve taken inspiration from a Puerto Rican version of Papas Rellenas, but modified it to be safe for me, and cheated a bit by using salsa and taco seasoning for the ground beef mixture. But it still tastes really good. I’ve used my home canned salsa, but you can pick and choose your own salsa if you have a safe one you can purchase. I’ve also used my own home mixed taco seasoning, but again if you have a safe commercial one, have at it.
The potato mixture should be dough like. If you have to add a bit more tapioca starch to get there, add another tablespoon or two if necessary. Make sure that the potato balls are really sealed, if not, they will open when deep frying and make a good bit of mess in the oil (ask me how I know). Also, I think they would be really good pan fried if you want to flatten them a bit, and skip the deep frying. If you would like to make them vegan, you could use a can of pinto beans or black beans instead of the ground beef, which would work just as well and be just as yummy.
Stuffed Potatoes (Papas Rellenas inspired)
A comfort food you can deep fry or pan fry. If you wish to make this vegetarian or vegan, use a can of pinto beans or black beans in place of the beef.
1/2poundground beefor use one can of drained and rinsed pinto or black beans
1/2 cupsalsa(I used my homemade canned salsa)
1Tablespoontaco seasoning(see spice mix in our post on Taco Beef for Tacos, Salads, and Nachos) http://adultfoodallergies.com/taco-beef-for-tacos-salads-and-nachos/)
1/2 cup tapioca starchto be used for flouring your hands while forming balls
oil for frying
stainless steel pot or skillet
Place potatoes in a pot of lightly salted water. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Or use your Instant Pot to cook them if you have one, using a trivet and a bowl or a steamer, adding a cup of water, and cooking on high pressure for 9 minutes.
Mix 3 tablespoons of tapioca starch, salt, and aquafaba in a small bowl and set aside.
Drain potatoes. You can also mix ingredients together manually but I used a stand mixer. Add the potatoes and mash them a bit before using your mixer. Using your mixer and the beater blade, mix until smooth. Slowly add the tapioca starch, salt, and aquafaba mixture while mixing. Scrape down the bowl as needed and mix until well combined. Set aside
Brown ground beef in a skillet. When brown, drain fat, and then add the taco seasoning and salsa to the browned ground beef. Mix the ingredients well, simmering for a few minutes. Set aside.
Forming and Frying Stuffed Potatoes
Dust your hands in tapioca starch, and flatten about 1/2 cup of the potato mixture into a disk in the palm of your hand. Add a heaping tablespoon of the beef mixture into the center of the disk, and bring the edges of the potato around the beef mixture. Seal the edges and roll into a smooth ball. Repeat until all the potato mixture has been used, making sure to keep your hands dusted in tapioca starch. Make sure that you seal them very well, if the seams open, it will be very messy.
Heat oil to 375°F and deep fry the potato balls about 5 minutes, turning as needed until golden brown. You could also flatten them a bit and pan fry them.