top of page

Yucca Rellena with Picadillo

    Here is a recipe for cassava stuffed with minced meat. Potatoes haven't been plentiful for a long time, and when there are, it's never enough to prepare all the dishes you want.
    Then one day I found in the streets of Old Havana a seller of fried taro and stuffed cassava, an excellent alternative to the typical Cuban stuffed potato.

    I also remember my father when in the 1990s he prepared daily a divine mixture of cassava well seasoned with chives, garlic and chili pepper, to later fry a kind of cassava burgers on the grill in fat. 'a piece of fried pork that would later be his lunch. The cassava burgers were sold like magic, and the small business produced at least enough to support the family in the most difficult years in recent Cuban history.

    Then another day I accidentally found a good recipe, and with a little nostalgia and cheese too, I ended up customizing this recipe for cassava stuffed with Cuban picadillo that I am now happy to share with you.

    Preparation of cassava stuffed with minced meat:
    The first thing to do is to cut the cassava and peel it. Wash it and boil it with water and salt for about 15 to 20 minutes.
    While cooking, peel, cut and crush the garlic in a mortar and grate the onion and carrot.
    When the cassava is soft, remove it and drain it in a colander. You need to remove the small central ribs from the cassava. Then mash it with a fork while it's hot. Add an egg yolk, half the wheat flour, a little grated cheese, grated carrot optional, and mix everything by hand to form a compact dough.

    Now let's move on to the picadillo.
    In a saucepan, put the (olive) oil and, when hot, add the finely chopped onion, chives and chilli, and the garlic. Wait for these ingredients to take on a certain golden tone and then add the grated carrot and the minced meat. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
    Add the tomato puree and bay leaf. Add salt, pepper and a cup of water and cook for about 30 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally so the stew doesn't stick. The picadillo is ready when all the liquid has been consumed.
    So form balls with the cassava paste, with your hands still soaked in water, and make a small hole in the center to fill it with the meat.
    Now put enough oil in a pan and, while you wait for the fat to heat up, beat an egg and put the remaining flour on a plate separately. The process is very simple. Simply dip the stuffed cassava balls first in the egg, then in the flour and then fry them.

    As soon as they are golden, transfer the cassava balls to a plate with absorbent paper to remove excess oil, as usual.
    Your cassava stuffed with minced meat is now ready. You can eat it on a plate, with rice and vegetables, or put it on a random piece of paper to devour while you wander around Havana.

▪︎1 kg of cassava
▪︎ ½ cup wheat flour
▪︎2 eggs
▪︎ Grated cheese
▪︎1 cup vegetable oil
For the minced meat:
▪︎600 gr ground beef (pork or chicken)
▪︎1 onion
▪︎1 carrot
▪︎100 gr. Tomato puree
▪︎2 bay leaves
▪︎1 cup of water
▪︎2 to 3 cloves of garlic
▪︎Chives and peppers
▪︎Black pepper
▪︎Oil (olive)

Yucca Rellena with Picadillo
bottom of page