Bollitos pelones: traditional Venezuelan recipe

Bollitos pelones are balls of corn flour that are filled with stewed meats. When they are served, homemade tomato sauce is added.

Last update: 06 May, 2022

Bollitos pelones are one of the typical foods of Venezuela. This dish is made up of a cornmeal dough stuffed with red meat or chicken, which is then bathed in tomato sauce. It is an ideal way to take advantage of the remains of stewsstews or other preparations.

Next, we are going to share the recipe so that you are encouraged to prepare this delicious dish at home. Cheer up and take careful note!

How to prepare the Venezuelan bollitos pelones?

It is said that the stuffed corn bun was a meal that was already prepared by the aborigines. However, with the arrival of the Spanish, the recipe underwent changes. There are studies that explain how culinary fusions originated back then.

The truth is that in Venezuela and in various Central American countries, meals based on corn flour are very important. Several studies indicate that it is used for tacos, tortillas, nachos, arepas and different typical foods.

It is advisable that you make the recipe for the bollitos pelones with time or with help, since it has several steps.

Ingredients for the dough

  • 2 cups precooked white or yellow cornmeal (also known as flour bread)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth or 2 and 1/2 cups water and 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil

for the sauce

  • Salt to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • Parsley, mint or coriander leaves to decorate
Cornmeal is a primary ingredient in American food, forming part of various recipes.

Ingredients for the stuffing

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pepper, salt, bay leaf and cumin to taste
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 500 grams of low-fat minced beef

Step by Step

  1. The first thing you should do is prepare the meat stew that you will use for the filling. Remember that you can use the food from the previous day.
  2. Start by crushing the garlic and placing it in a pan with the olive oil over low heat. Then he peels and chops the onion and adds it into the pot. Stir so that it does not stick and add the seasonings to your liking.
  3. Then, add the minced beef and let it seal with the heat of the fire. Stir to cook evenly. Raise the temperature of the burner.
  4. When this is cooked, add the capers and chopped olives. Also add red wine.
  5. While this starts to boil, chop the tomatoes as fine as you can. You can do this step with the processor or even with the manual grater.
  6. Then add them together with the other ingredients. Cover the pot and let this boil for 5 to 7 minutes. After this time, remove from heat and reserve. Now that you have the stew, let it cool while you assemble the dough.

Assembling of the dough

  1. Place the corn flour in a wide bowl. Make a hole in the center and add the oil and homemade chicken broth. If you’re using the cube, dissolve it in water before you start making the dough.
  2. With the help of a spoon, begin to integrate and then with your hands form the dough. When it is smooth and homogeneous, let it sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, she prepares the tomato sauce.

Preparation of the sauce

  1. Chop or process the onion along with the tomatoes and bell pepper. Place this in a pot and let it start to cook.
  2. Add seasonings to your liking stir with a spoon until thickened.
  3. Add the whole and peeled clove of garlic so that the sauce takes on flavor. You can remove it when it is ready.
  4. When you have reached the point you are looking for, turn off the heat and reserve.
Chopping onions can cause irritation to your skin and eyes. Remember to take some precautions.

Armed with the bald buns

  1. Scoop up some dough and form a ball. The ideal size would be about the size of a golf ball.
  2. When you have assembled all the balls, press your thumb down on each one to make room for the filling.
  3. Now, with the help of a spoon, start filling. When you finish doing it, return to the rounded shape and place the buns in a bowl.
  4. Repeat the process with all the dough.
  5. Next, bring plenty of water to a boil in a pot. When it’s ready, carefully place the buns inside it. Let them cook for 15 minutes or until they begin to float.
  6. When they reach this point, remove with a slotted spoon and let them drain in a noodle strainer.
  7. To end, serve the bald buns that you just prepared with the sauce that you had reserved. You can decorate with mint leaves, parsley or chopped coriander.

Prepare this recipe at home

Without a doubt, this is a dish that has several steps, but it is worth trying. You can prepare these delicious bald buns to surprise at lunch.

Remember that you can fill them with the meat you prefer, change their cooking method or add ingredients to taste. Of course, salads or baked vegetables are good company.

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