Bastille - meat stuffed mashed potato dumplings, photo: Ilan Nahum Styling: Dalit Russo
Bastille - meat stuffed mashed potato dumplings, photo: Ilan Nahum Styling: Dalit Russo
Recipe

Bastille

These Tripolitanian dumplings are prepared on Passover and are so delicious that you'll need to double the recipe to have any left for the Seder meal

Bastille are savory Tripolitanian dumplings, with the best kind of twist: a shell of mashed potatoes, filled with a spicy, fragrant meat filling, then floured (for Pesach, use cornstarch) and deep fried. In Tripolitanian families bastille is made the night of the Passover Seder, but it’s so delicious, you might be serving this all year round.

Bastille does require a fair amount of work, but the results are well worth it. We recommend doubling the recipe, these go quickly.

Ingredients for bastille

For the shell:

  • 2.2 lbs (1 kilogram) potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Salt

For the filling:

  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) beef (shoulder or muscle cut) in one piece
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (optional)

For the dredging and frying:

  • 1/2 cup flour (or cornstarch)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • oil for deep frying

Instructions

Prepare the filling:

  • 1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion until golden. Add the beef and sear on all sides. Add the salt, allspice, bay leaves and nutmeg and cook until the flavors are combined.

  • 2. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat a little and continue cooking for about an hour and a half until the meat is soft. Set aside to cool.

  • 3. Grind the meat in a meat grinder (not in a food processor) or finely chop with a knife. Add ras el hanout and salt and mix well.

Prepare the shells:

  • 4. Boil potatoes with the skin until soft (about 20 minutes). Cool.

  • 5. Peel the potatoes and grind in a meat grinder or mash with a potato masher or fork. Do not use a food processor. Add white pepper, turmeric, egg yolk and salt and mix by hand gently just until a uniform mixture is obtained - be careful not to over-knead, it alters the texture.

Assemble and cook:

  • 6. Form the potato mixture into balls with a diameter slightly less than 1¼ inches (3 cm) and flatten them with the palm of your hand. Put a teaspoon of the filling in the center of each and pinch to close. Shape into oblong dumplings.

  • 7. Dip the dumplings in flour or cornstarch and then in the beaten egg. Fry in batches in a fair amount of hot oil - 2-3 minutes on each side for a light golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with parchment paper.

  • 8. Serve hot or reheat in a very hot oven.

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