You know one of those days that you just miss a loved one for no special reasons?
I woke up on Saturday thinking about my dear grandmother and how much I wished I could fly to Brazil and spend a few hours with her. I want to describe her a little so you can understand why I love her so much: she is 1.5m tall, has a huge constant smile on her face, is the most amazing mother to my mum, is one of the strongest references I have in my life, was a wonderful wife to my grandpa, cooks anything with so much love that you can probably smell it, can do any type of arts and crafts you can possibly think of, is 80 years old (or about that) and still full of energy.
This lovely amazing woman taught me so many important things that I am sure I would need at least 10 pages to just start describing them.
She also taught me how to cook some of her recipes including this one that I prepared to share with you today. I am not sure what is the most appropriate name for this recipe in English but I will call it “Potato Cakes Stuffed with Minced Beef”. I’m sure that is a more charming way to name it however I don’t think you would bother too much about the name if you had the opportunity to actually eat it. However, please feel free to suggest a name if you feel like.
To prepare this recipe you will need:
6 large russet potatoes
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 large egg
Salt and black pepper
2 table spoons of grated Parmesan cheese
Minced Beef Filling
1 tablespoon of olive oil
400g of minced beef
½ cup of tomato sauce
½ cup of onions finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
Start peeling the potatoes, chopping them and bringing to boil in a large pan with water. Once the potatoes are soft pass them though a vegetable mill or mash them with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Add the beaten egg, the Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of flour. Mix it well with a wooden spoon until totally incorporated. Add the rest of the flour and mix again. This dough should be very moist however firm enough not to stick on your hands. Let it rest for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. I used a medium pan, added olive oil, chopped onions, minced beef and the tomato sauce and cooked it all together for about 10 minutes until the sauce reduced to almost nothing.
Back to the cakes, you can shape them in any size you like. Using my hands, I take parts of the dough and roll each one of them in small balls about 3 to 4cm diameter. Next, taking one ball each time, I press it in my hand until about 1 cm thick and add the filing (about 1 shallow tablespoon) and then close it, shaping the cake. Not too easy to describe but hopefully the pictures will help a bit.
Once the cakes are all done I sprinkle them with some extra flour.
Next step is frying the cakes in a frying pan with some cooking oil. You can deep fry them however I prefer to use just a shallow layer of oil and turn the cakes until brown.
Serve them hot.
By the way, in case you find it to difficult to make the cakes, this same recipe can be used to make potato pies like this one below. All the same ingredients, same potatoes dough and filing. I just spread one layer of dough at the bottom of the dish, one layer of minced beef in the middle and finish with a third layer of potatoes dough. I also sprinkled a bit more of Parmesan cheese on top.