Papas Rellenas

Stuffed Potatoes

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4 to 6


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

These stuffed potatoes are a meal in itself and more. They are basically potatoes mashed but not completely smooth, which are stuffed with an egg, rice, and meat filling before being coated in a batter and fried. They are very typical of colder zones and the Pacific areas.


  • tablespoons salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 pounds (about 10) medium potatoes

Rice Filling

  • cup rice
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon color* or turmeric

Beef Filling

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • ¾ cup minced scallion
  • ½ cup peeled diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon mashed garlic
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • ¾ teaspoon color* or turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin*
  • ¾ pound ground beef

Dipping Batter

  • cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon color* or turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin*
  • 4 cups oil for frying
  • Hogao del Pacífico, for serving


  1. In a large pot place 8 cups of water, the salt, and the eggs. Bring to a boil.
  2. Wash and quarter the potatoes (with or without skin). Add to the eggs, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork. Drain the potatoes and eggs. Discard the water. Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher; they should chunky. Peel and dice the eggs. Set both aside for assembly later.
  3. While the eggs and potatoes cook, PREPARE THE RICE: In a small pot place the rice, cups water, bouillon cube, oil, salt, and color. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low heat, or until you see the rice very close to the surface of the water. Cover and decrease the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Set aside.
  4. PREPARE THE MEAT FILLING: In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, place the oil, scallions, tomatoes, garlic, bouillon cube, color, and cumin; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the beef, decrease the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, breaking up the meat to remove chunks. Remove from the heat, add the rice, diced eggs, and set aside.
  5. Place all the dipping batter ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a wire whisk or fork until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
  6. Form half-cupfuls of mashed potatoes into balls. Flatten to ½ inch thickness. Add 2 tablespoons of filling to the center and place them in the palm of your hand. Close your hand and tightly press. Roll with both your hands to make even spheres.
  7. Pour the oil into a deep, medium, heavy pot, and place over medium-high heat to bring to a temperature of 350°F.
  8. Dip the potatoes one by one into the batter, and drop carefully into the oil.
  9. Deep fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden all over.
  10. Drain over paper towels.
  11. Serve with Hogao del Pacífico.