Meat Stuffed Yuca Fritters Recipe


Latin American Paleo Cooking Over 80 Traditional Recipes Made Grain and Gluten FreeCarimañolas are traditional fare in several countries in Latin America, but this recipe is Colombian style. They are made with a simple dough of boiled and mashed yuca root that is stuffed with flavorful ground beef and then fried. The texture of fried yuca dough really is incredible without any flours needing to be added to the mashed root. Note that you need to make the filling ahead to give it time to chill before stuffing into the dough. If it is hot, the dough will fall apart.

  • Yield: 8 carimanolas


For the filling
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil or lard
  • ½ lb (225 g) ground beef or pork
  • ½ small onion, diced (about 1 cup [160 g])
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (2 g) dried oregano
  • ½ lime juice
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced, with juices
  • 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup (4 g) chopped fresh cilantro
For the dough
  • 1½ lb (680 g) peeled yuca, cut into pieces about 3” (7.5 cm) long
  • 1½ tsp (9 g) fine Himalayan salt
  • ¼ cup (56 g) fat of choice for frying (avocado oil or lard work well)
How to Make It
  1. Prepare the filling. Do this step in advance to allow it to chill before frying.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the fat over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the ground meat and remaining filling ingredients, except the cilantro, and stir to combine well. Break up the meat with a wooden spoon.
  3. Cook until the meat is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a container with a lid and stir in the cilantro. Place in the refrigerator to chill; alternatively, to expedite chilling, use a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer while the yuca is cooking.
  4. To prepare the dough, place the yuca in a medium pot of water and bring it to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat slightly to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the yuca is fork-tender.
  5. Drain the yuca and remove the stringy, fibrous core from each piece, if necessary (it is sometimes already removed from frozen yuca). It can easily be lifted out with a fork. Place the yuca in a large bowl and mash vigorously with a potato masher until completely smooth. Add the salt. Allow to cool several minutes.
  6. Divide the yuca dough into 8 equal portions, roughly ¼ cup (60 g) in size. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper to work on. Roll a piece into a ball in your hands, then flatten into a disk about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. If the dough is sticky, dip your fingers in a bowl of water to prevent sticking.
  7. Place about 4 tablespoons (60 g) of filling in the center of the disk and lift the sides to seal the dough around the filling. Smooth out any seams by rubbing gently with water. Repeat until you have formed all 8 carimañolas.
  8. To save on the amount of fat used, fry the carimañolas in batches in a small, heavy-bottomed pot with high sides: Heat about ¾ inch (2 cm) of fat in your pot until shimmering, then carefully add the carimañolas. Fry them for about 5 minutes per side, until crispy and lightly golden in color. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate and serve immediately! Serve with Ají Picante.

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