Bollos Pelones (Vnezuelan Meatballs)

Venezuelan

BOLLOS PELONES (VENEZUELAN MEATBALLS)

Author:Keesha

Level up your regular meatball night using this Bollos Pelones recipe or known as Venezuelan meatballs. These Latino beef dumplings are made with corn dough stuffed with well-seasoned ground meat filling and then coated or served with a tomato sauce!

Bollos Pelones (Venezuelan Meatballs)

Bollos Pelones (Vnezuelan Meatballs)

Level up your regular meatball night using this Bollos Pelones recipe or known as Venezuelan meatballs. These Latino beef dumplings are made with corn dough stuffed with well-seasoned ground meat filling and then coated or served with a tomato sauce. So irresistible that you can eat these for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner!

TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is Bollos Pelones?
Venezuelan Bollos Recipe Ingredients
Corn Flour vs Cornmeal
Can I Make Bollos Pelones using Harina P.A.N?
Recipe Substitutions
Making Ahead Instructions
More Recipes You’ll Love
Recommended Products

Let me take your taste buds to the beautiful country of Venezuela. 

Although there’s still a dispute between Venezuelan regions as to the origin of this meatball recipe, that doesn’t stop people (even the non-locals) from falling in love with this simple dish.

Unlike other typical Venezuelan dishes, Bollos Pelones is one classic dish only found in home kitchens. 

That goes to say that every bite of this precious meatball served with tomato sauce surely reminds you of home!

WHAT IS BOLLOS PELONES?

Bollos pelones or Latin beef dumplings actually sort of translates to “hairless buns“. Really! 

As funny as it may sound, the word bollo means cooked dough, while pelones means naked or bald.

This name makes reference to the fact that it’s not covered or wrapped in leaves, unlike its popular Mexican cousin tamales.

It may look like a complicated meatball recipe at first, but trust me, once you get passed making the ground meat filling, then everything will be a breeze to make.

VENEZUELAN BOLLOS RECIPE INGREDIENTS

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. In fact, most, if not all, of these ingredients are probably sitting now in your pantry. 

Here’s what you need for this very comforting Venezuelan meatball with tomato sauce dish.

GROUND MEAT FILLING

Garlic and onions – are two of the most basic flavor enhancer in any dish.

Oregano – just a sprinkle of this special herb could add a bold and earthy flavor to this meatball recipe.

Veal – you can use any ground meat but I did use veal here which is a meat from younger cattle that is slightly more tender.

Crushed tomato – it adds layers of sweet, acidic, and umami flavor to our ground meat.

Black pepper and salt – to add more taste to our ground beef meatball recipe.

Olive oil – use to saute our ground meat and veggies and at the same time incorporating that slight olive flavor.

CORN DOUGH

Water – this dissolves our next ingredients and holds everything in. Corn Flour – it’s a type of flour that came from grinding whole dried corn kernels into powder form (more on this below). Salt – adds flavor to our dough. Butter – adds a nice buttery flavor to our dough and softens for that feel-good mouthfeel.

CORN FLOUR VS CORNMEAL

A lot of people sometimes confuse cornflour with cornmeal. Before you go shopping for ingredients for this recipe, let’s dive in a little deeper on what really is corn flour.

Corn flour is flour that comes from milled dried whole corn kernels. It’s fine and smooth like your regular whole wheat flour.

Depending on the corn variety, this type of flour could actually be yellow, white, or even blue.

Cornmeal on the other hand is like the grittier cousin of cornflour. It also comes from milled dried corn, but it is coarsely ground.

CAN YOU USE THEM INTERCHANGEABLY?

Yes, you sure can. However, you’ve got to be aware that using one for the other would have a slightly different result when it comes to making this Latin beef dumplings recipe.

So if you’re using cornmeal to make muffins and pancakes, expect them to have a grittier texture instead of having a finer and less crumbly texture. The same goes with our Venezuelan meatball recipe here.

CAN I MAKE BOLLOS PELONES USING HARINA P.A.N?

Absolutely! Harina P.A.N or Pan is a popular brand of pre-cooked cornmeal that contains no additives and is certified 100% gluten-free. 

Use the same amount of Harina P.A.N as called for in the recipe for corn flour.

RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Feel free to use any ground meat like chicken, turkey, beef, and pork.
  • Don’t have oregano? Feel free to fresh thyme, marjoram, or simply go with Italian seasoning.
  • You may swap crushed tomatoes with an equal amount of tomato puree. Or you may use freshly diced tomatoes, however, you’ll need to cook it longer to break it down

MAKING AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

If you’re a busy person like me, you can always make the stuffing for these veal meatballs a day before.

Simply let it cool down completely after cooking. Then transfer it in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 days.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

  • 4-in-1 Spinner, Chopper, and Mixer – forget about manually chopping your onions or garlic coz this 4-in-1 chopper here makes preparing your food easy and fun
  • Transparent Pyrex Mixing Bowl – get to see all your ingredients and how it transforms in this transparent mixing bowl
  • Stainless Steel Bergner Pot – a large pot with a cold touch handle perfect when boiling water for our Bollos Pelones.
  • Stainless Steel Colander – easefully drains your cooked veal meatballs in boiled water using this stainless colander
Bollos Pelones (Vnezuelan Meatballs)

BOLLOS PELONES (VENEZUELAN MEATBALLS)

Keesha
Level up your regular meatball night using this Bollos Pelones recipe or known as Venezuelan meatballs. These Latino beef dumplings are made with corn dough stuffed with well-seasoned ground meat filling and then coated or served with a tomato sauce!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Venezuelan
Servings 6
Calories 481 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • 1 ½ cup Water
  • 2 ½ cups Corn Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Butter

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 cup Crushed tomatoes
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 cups Minced Veal
  • ½ teaspoon Oregano
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Water for boiling

Instructions
 

  • Pour the water into a bowl, and add the cornflour and salt. Stir until a homogeneous mass is formed.
  • Once mixed, add the butter and knead it with your hands until thoroughly combined, and let it rest.
  • Dice the onions into small pieces and crush the garlic. Fry the onions and garlic in a frying pan with a little olive oil until it is lightly caramelized.
  • Add the crushed tomato and a pinch sugar to neutralize the acidity. Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes over low heat.
  • Place a frying pan over high heat and add a little olive oil. Season the minced veal with the oregano, salt, and black pepper, to taste. Sauté the minced meat until browned, about two minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Make small balls of corn flour dough. Using your finger, make a hole or depression in the center of the ball. Fill with a spoonful of the minced meat and seal the balls, fully enclosing the meat in the dough.
  • Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add a large pinch of salt, followed by the filled dough balls. Cook until they rise to the surface, then turn off the heat. Let them rest in the water for 30 seconds, then drain in a colander.
  • Serve the Bollos on a plate or platter and spread with the prepared tomato sauce. Now ¡Buen Provecho!

Notes

  • This recipe can be enjoyed either alone as a starter, or as a main dish when accompanied by different side dishes such as rice, prepared ripe plantains (fried, baked, boiled, etc.), fresh salad, pico de gallo (tomato, onion, chopped cilantro), sliced avocado, etc.
  • Feel free to use any ground meat like chicken, turkey, beef, and pork.
  • Don’t have oregano? Feel free to fresh thyme, marjoram, or simply go with Italian seasoning.
  • You may swap crushed tomatoes with an equal amount of tomato puree. Or you may use freshly diced tomatoes, however, you’ll need to cook it longer to break it down.
  • Use the same amount of Harina P.A.N as called for in the recipe for corn flour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 481kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 14gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 323mgPotassium: 383mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 149IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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