“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
― Albert Einstein
No truer words Al! I’d been posting pictures on Instagram of beautiful empanadas, made of sweet potato dough! The first time I made them they were perfect, so I knew I’d have to practice again. Second time, too potato-y, third time was darn good. Fourth time, I was all confident, I doubled the recipe. Naturally, I mucked it up. For the life of me that potato would just stick to the parchment paper & I could not roll out the dough. With a large bowl of floured mash in front of me, a skillet full of ground beef next to me… I decided to simplify my life, I would make papas rellenas.
Papa rellena, which translates to stuffed potato; is a Cuban staple at any coffee stand or party. These little carb bombs are made using mashed potato dusted in flour & deep fried, filled with traditional picadillo (onions, olives, raisins, tomato etc). Obviously all that wasn’t going to jive with me, luckily the “failed” dough worked better than expected!
I rolled up 8- 2 inch sized balls, made wells in them, spooned in some delicious spiced beef & radishes. Closed them, rolled them in olive oil, set them in the oven & crossed my fingers.
The result… a bun! A super bread like, crispy outside, golden little balls. I was in love. Lighter than their traditional counterparts, not as greasy, yet crispy & portable, these stuffed sweet potato buns scream picnic food, party food & freeze me batch cook food! Sayonara empanadas, we have a new meat stuffed, sweet potato, paleo pastry in town!
Serves 1 bun
30 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 2 large boniato (aprx 1.5lb) (white or Japanese sweet potato)
- *peeled & boiled- do this ahead of time
- 2/3 cup coconut flour
- 2/3 cup arrow root starch
- 2 tsp grass feed beef gelatin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder (I make the Bob's Red Mill recipe, equal parts: baking soda, cream of tartar & arrowroot starch)
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 1/3 cup avocado oil + more for coating
- 1lb grass fed beef
- 1 onion
- 2 radishes
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp horseradish powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
- In a large skillet heat oil, 1 tbsp.
- Add sliced onion, radishes & cook until tender.
- Add in beef, break up with spatula, add in salt & spices.
- Stir constantly until browned & crumbly.
- Add in coconut aminos.
- Lower heat & simmer for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat, set aside to cool.
- Pre-heat oven to 400F
- Bring a pot of water to boil
- Peel & dice the boniato, add to boiling water, boil until very tender.
- Drain, let cool.
- Place cooled potato in a bowl & mash with a whisk until smooth.
- Add in flours, gelatin, baking powder & garlic + salt.
- Add in vinegar, fold in.
- While drizzling in oil, mix the dough until well combined.
- If it doesn't seem to be coming together with the spatula, try mixing it with your hands, you're going to get them dirty in the next step anyway!
- Shape 6-8 2 inch balls, like if you were making meatballs.
- Once by one, pick up a potato ball, using your thumb make a 2oz sized well in the middle with one hand, while cradling it in the other hand.
- Spoon in 1 tablespoon of beef mixture, more if it fits.
- Then using your free hand, pinch together the potato dough to close.
- Now roll the dough between both hands to make it a ball again. Gently dip it in the extra oil and roll it again to evenly coat it.
- Place it on sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes until just golden.
- You don't want to toast them because toasted sweet potato has an overpowering bitter taste, great in fries, not in these!
- These are heavy; I would portion 1 per person, maybe 2 if you're carb loading. Serve with salad 🙂
I just made a batch with Okinawa sweet potato, the purple kind! So pretty!
The potatoes were a little smaller & they are starchier. I doubled the vinegar & added 1/3 cup warm water to the dough. Posting pics soon! I stuffed them with nightshade free curried cauliflower rice & turkey… purple buns with bright yellow filling!
Recipe submitted to The AIP Round Table