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Venezuelan Bollitos Pelones

Prep Time 1 hr
Servings 4 people


For the Arepa dough

  • 2 cups pre-cooked cornmeal (Harina Pan)
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt

For the filling

  • 1 Kilogram Lean ground beef
  • ΒΌ tbsp Adobo
  • 3 cloves Fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup Spanish onion
  • 1/4 cup Green onions
  • 1/4 cup leeks, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

For the tomato sauce

  • 1/2 cup Spanish onion
  • 1 can Can of tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic, crush



  • Heat Olive oil in a pan, cook the crushed garlic, paprika, onion, green onions, leeks until the onions are crystalized. Add ground beef, and season with adobo, salt and pepper. Once the meat is cooked, cover and let the beef dry.


  • To prepare the arepa dough, in a medium bowl with salt, slowly mix in flour with water. Mix until you have a thick, consistent texture (like a cookie dough). Let stand for about 3 minutes.

Tomato Sauce

  • Blend in a pan the garlic, onions and righ after a few minutes the canned tomatoes. Place in a sauce pan over medium heat and add tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook for at least 10 minutes.


  • Make a ball of dough (you can decide the size you want, it's usually slightly bigger than a tennis ball). Open a hole in the center and stretch as much as you can to get room for the beef. Fill it with the ground beef, close it with more dough, making sure it maintains round shape, like a big meatball.
  • Bring water to a boil in a deep pot, add the bollitos very carefully, let them cook until they float, which means they are ready. Remove them from water, drain and let them rest.
  • Place all meat balls in a pot with your tomato sauce and pour over over them.