Popletas  (Harissa flavored potato dumpling filled with meat)

(Harissa flavored potato dumpling filled with meat)

A tasty Moroccan potato “dumpling”. For those occasions when you are looking for something “special”- this is it.
We made the Popletas for our Thanksgiving dinner and our friends still rave about them.



3 large Idaho potatoes peeled
and cut to 6
250g lean ground beef
canola oil
4 tbsp. flour
4-5 eggs

To make the meat filling-
Heat up a pan to medium-high heat and add the meat and a tbsp. of oil.
Cook until the meat changes color and is thoroughly cooked. Add 1 tsp. salt and 2 tbsp. Harissa. Lower the heat and keep stirring for another 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
Place the potatoes in a deep pot, cover with water, add 1 tbsp. salt and cook on medium heat until you can easily insert a tip of a knife to one of the potatoes.

Drain the water and in the same pot, on low heat start to dry the cooked potatoes, mixing gently every other minute, making sure it does not scorch or brown.
After 4-5 minutes, mash the potatoes using a potato masher. Taste for salt and if necessary add a little more. Add 1 1\2 tbsp. of Harissa and mix gently. Do not let the mash cool down.
In another small bowl crack 1 egg and mix it using a fork. Add 1 tbsp. of potato mash and mix well. Repeat that 3 times to make the egg slowly heat and not to turn into a scrambled egg at once.
Add it to the rest of the potatoes and mix until the mixture is uniformly bright red.
 Oil your hands.
Take about 2 1\2 tbsp. of red mash and on your open palm spread the mash to a 3-inch round and about 1\2 of an inch thick.  Place in the center a tsp. of cooked meat and "cover" it completely with the potato mash.
Shape it into a slightly flattened round.
Heat up a medium pan with canola oil, 1 1\2 inch deep to high heat but do not let the oil smoke.
Roll the popletas in flour and shake the excess off of it. Roll all the popletas before moving to the next step.
Break 2 eggs in a shallow bowl and mix well. Deep 1 popleta in the egg wash and put it straight in the hot oil. Repeat that 3 times. Once they have browned, and it should be very quickly, turn them around to brown from the other side and take them out to a plate with a paper towel.
Serve warm.