Keef Cooks logo
British food-lover Keef shows you how to cook amazing food with easy to follow recipes and videos. So stop wasting your time and money on takeaways or supermarket ready meals, and Get Cooking!

Mince, Mash and Cheese Balls

Introduction & method

I might have invented this dish - I certainly had trouble putting a name to it. It is similar to the Spanish/South American papas rellenas, except it has a surprising blob of cheese in the middle. Basically, it's a ball of minced beef with cheese embedded in it, surrounded by mashed potato, coated in breadcrumbs and baked.

Mince, Mash and Cheese Balls Recipe

Prep the Mash

It's vitally important that both the mashed potato and the minced beef mixture are chilled before attempting to assemble the balls, so allow plenty of time for that. Peel your potatoes, cut them into bite-sized chunks, place them in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil, turn down to simmer and let them bubble away until tender, about 10-15 minutes. When cooked, drain them, pat them dry and mash with the butter, salt and white pepper. Normally I would add milk to mash, but for this recipe we want it quite dry so avoid adding extra liquid.

Prep the Mince Mixture

Peel and finely chop the onion. Heat some oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion for about 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Because we are aiming for a dry-ish mixture, use lean mince, about 5% fat. Add this to the onion and brown it all over. Allow any moisture that escapes from the meat to evaporate. Add a teaspoon of yeast extract (Marmite or similar) and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool. then place in the fridge to chill.

Assemble the Stuffed Potato Balls

Heat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6. Cut your cheese into 2cm (just under an inch) cubes. You might want to weigh your meat mixture and mashed potato so that you can accurately divide them into 5 or 6 portions. Test the 'stickiness' of the mince - grab a small handful and squeeze it into a ball. If it holds together, all well and good. If not, stir in some flour and try again. Take a portion of mince, roll it into a ball and then flatten it into your palm. Place a cube of cheese in the centre and then form the meat up and around it. On a small piece of plastic film, flattena portion of potato, place a ball of mince in the middle and form the potato up and around the meat. Coat the ball in breadcrumbs.

Bake the Stuffed Potato Balls

Place all of the balls on a baking sheet and spray them all over with oil. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown on the outside. Serve with green beans and gravy.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Mince, Mash and Cheese Balls on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 750 grams potato
 25 grams butter
 1 tsp salt
 half a tsp white pepper
 500 grams lean minced beef (5% fat)
 1 medium onion
 1 tsp yeast extract (Marmite or similar)
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 75 grams strong melty cheese


Oil for sautéeing. A few tablespoons of breadcrumbs to coat the balls. The cheese, use any strong-flavoured melty cheese, or a mixture - my favourite is mature cheddar with blue stilton.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 5 -6
Prep time: 20 minutes.
Chilling time: 1 hour.
Cooking time: 50 minutes.
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes.