Alcapurrias puertorriqueñas con picadillo de res

making alcapurrias

”My memories of alcapurrias are from parties when I was growing up in Puerto Rico,” says MIchelle Ezratty Murphy, one of our favorite Puerto Rican food homecooks. ”The first one I ever tasted was at a childhood Christmas fiesta. Appetizer trays piled high with flavorful picadillo de res-stuffed fritters were being passed around—and gobbled up just as quickly.”

”One bite—and I knew that I would be a lifelong alcapurria fan,” she says.

”I was still a kid and hadn’t learned how to cook, so I couldn’t really make them for myself. All year long I’d look forward to fiestas and weekend gatherings where alcapurrias just might be on the menu.”

”Once I met my Puerto Rican husband, Pat, I was lucky enough to become part of his family, and all their delicious cooking and eating. His aunts and cousins gathered regularly, and I remember watching them work together, sitting around the kitchen table—often making alcapurrias, familia-style. Theirs were made with yautia (taro root) and green-banana masa, stuffed with garlicky picadillo, cooked with aceite de achiote y aceitunas en rodajas, y luego se fríen en aceite vegetal. (La familia de Pat también se reunía alrededor de la misma mesa de la cocina cada vez que Titi Rosa de Pat hacía este increíble arroz con pollo.)”

Toda la familia se alegra cuando Titi Rosa prepara todos los años sus famosas alcapurrias para Navidad.

”They would first prepare the sofrito-sauted beef. Then the masa. And then, working together in a sort of family-kitchen-table assembly line—fueled by coquito fuerte si fueran las fiestas, or ice-cold beer if it was summer—stuff the fritters. Some were fried right away to enjoy hot and right then. Others were prepared to save for later and went straight into the freezer. You see, Puerto Ricans are famous for stopping by unannounced during the holiday season or on weekends. Or pretty much any time. That’s why there must always be a few dozen alcapurrias in the freezer, ready to be dropped straight into hot oil and served—all in under 20 minutes.”

”When I asked my husband about his Puerto Rico-childhood alcapurria memories, Pat remembered how he’d regularly make a quick lunch of alcapurrias during breaks from school, by picking up a couple from the street vendors in old San Juan. The food sellers would quickly fry the fritters and hand them to my husband super-hot, wrapped in paper towels to absorb the extra oil.”

A Puerto Rican street vendor frying up a
My husband Pat loves buying beef-picadillo alcapurrias from Boricua street-food vendors like this one.

”Pat’s all-time favorite alcapurria memory, though, was when he’d watch one of his tías—who lived in the small town of Utuado in the central mountains of Puerto Rico—fry big batches to sell to friends and neighbors. That’s his aunt, above, in the top post photo.”

”Pat laughed when he told me the story, because he is still amazed by how fast his aunt could make them y how easy she made it all look. Titi would tell him “practice makes perfect.” To this day, she still whips up a batch or two or three with the same passion. I’m sure if we looked in her freezer today, there would be a few dozen wrapped alcapurrias, at the ready to heat up and welcome surprise guests.”

”Titi makes her alcapurrias picadillo with sofrito-sauted ground beef, but another one of Pat’s cousins prefers to make his with canned corned beef. Pat remembers them both being mouth-wateringly good. Below is Titi’s family recipe, which calls for either—it’s up to you. I’m going with the canned corned-beef.”

¿Listo para Hacer Alcapurrias de Titi con Picadillo de Res?

Las Alcapurrias Puertorriqueñas De Titi Con Picadillo

5 desde 4 votos
Receta por Michelle Ezratty Murphy Cocina: puertorriqueño


tiempo de preparación


Hora de cocinar




  • la masa
  • 2 libras 2 raíz de yautia, fregada y pelada

  • 2 2 plátanos verdes

  • 5 5 very green bananas

  • 1 paquete 1 sazón con achiote

  • 2 cucharada 2 aceite de achiote (see Michelle’s achiote oil recipe aquí)

  • 1 cucharada 1 sal

  • 1 a 2 tazas 1 a 2 canola oil, to shallow-fry the alcapurrias

  • El Relleno De Picadillo
  • 2 a 3 cucharadas 2 a 3 cucharadas aceite de oliva

  • 1/2 libras 1/2 carne molida o carne en conserva enlatada

  • 1/4 libras 1/4 jamón cocido, picado

  • 1/2 1/2 Cebolla (mediana

  • 2 cucharada 2 sofrito

  • 1/2 1/2 pimiento verde picado

  • 6 a 8 6 a 8 aceitunas rellenas de pimiento, picadas

  • 1/2 cucharadita 1/2 sazón con achiote

  • 1/2 cucharadita 1/2 sal, o al gusto

  • 1/4 cucharadita 1/4 pimienta, o al gusto


  • The Alcapurria Masa
  • Scrub and peel the yautias. Peel the green plantains and green bananas.
  • In a food processor fitted with the grating blade, grate the yautia, plantains and bananas together. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Change the food processor blade to the chopping blade. Place half the grated yautias, plantains and bananas back into the processor. Barely purée the mixture. You want it thick, like porridge.
  • In your bowl, gently mix together the puréed and grated blends of yautias, green plantains and green bananas.
  • Place the grated and puréed mixture back in the blender. Add the sazón, achiote oil, salt and pepper. Pulse just a few times until all the seasonings and spices are mixed in nicely, and the masa is light orange in color.
  • Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight (or no less than 3 hours). Don’t skip this step, even though you may be tempted. Refrigerating the masa firms it up so it becomes easier to work with and forms into a ball around the beef filling.
  • El Relleno De Picadillo
  • Para hacer el relleno, caliente el aceite de oliva en una sartén grande a fuego medio alto.
  • Sauté the sofrito, onions and green pepper for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  • Agregue el jamón picado, la carne molida (o carne en conserva: ¡usted elige!), sazón, sal y pimienta. Combina bien revolviendo. Si usa carne molida, asegúrese de que la carne esté bien cocida.
  • Agregue las aceitunas en rodajas y mezcle bien. Dejar de lado. El picadillo está listo.
  • Make Your Alcapurrias
  • Engrase ligeramente una superficie de trabajo plana (bandeja de hojas o una gran franja de papel de aluminio, o coloque un trozo largo de papel pergamino).
  • In the cup of your hand, place a heaping serving spoon of masa. Form it into round ball.
  • Coloque dos dedos en el centro de la bola y forme una taza con un orificio central lo suficientemente grande como para colocar con una cuchara alrededor de 1 a 2 cucharadas del picadillo.
  • Flatten the meat filling with the back of the spoon and carefully closed the cup back to its original ball form, pinching and forming the masa to make a seal with the meat inside.
  • Set the rounded masa down on your greased surface or parchment paper. Lightly roll the meat-stuffed ball into a flat cylinder. Just a couple of rolls will do the trick. Make sure that the masa is intact all the way around and that no meat is peeking through.
  • Place the stuffed alcapurrias in your fridge for at least an hour to chill and firm up before frying.
  • Fry Your Alcapurrias
  • Pour canola oil into a large skillet, so that the oil is about 1 inch high—enough to shallow-fry the alcapurrias.
  • Heat the oil, set to medium heat. Once the oil is 350°—hot enough for frying—carefully place 2 to 3 chilled alcapurrias into the hot oil. Don’t crowd them and work in batches.
  • Cocine cada alcapurria durante unos 5 minutos más o menos por cada lado, o hasta que ambas estén doradas.
  • Escurrir en un plato forrado con papel toalla. Servir tibio.


  • Refrigerating the masa firms it up so that it is easier to work with and form into a ball around the beef filling. Don’t skip this step, even though you may be tempted to. It really makes a difference in your alcapurria success.
  • The reason you grate the yautia and the banana and then put them back in with the chop blade to run through in half batches is to help give the masa mixture a better consistency.
  • Recomendado: Prepare suficientes alcapurrias para congelar una o dos docenas (¿o tres?) adicionales. Se alegrará (¡y estará listo!) la próxima vez que se presente una fiesta improvisada en su casa. Cuando quieras servirlos, sácalos del congelador. No los descongeles. Fríelos congelados, saldrán tan deliciosos como recuerdas.
making alcapurrias
La tía de mi esposo, Pat, prepara un delicioso lote de sus famosas alcapurrias, hechas con yautía y masa de plátano verde con picadillo de carne molida.

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