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Beef Empanadas

Beef Empanada

Spanish Tapas Night in Bam's Kitchen, round two continues with Beef Empanadas. I have a very dear friend from Argentina and she makes the most wonderful empanadas you have ever tasted. I am sure this is something that was passed on to her from generation to generation, as I have never tasted anything that has even come close to it since.

Beef Empanada

 Several years ago, I visited her on a day she was having a special gathering in her home. She had made so many beef empanadas that every surface in her kitchen was covered with these little yummy delights.  I remember how flaky the empanada crust was and of course the delicious hearty fillings were to die for. It was the perfect match for the glass of red wine she had offered to me. To my dear friend Maria, this recipe is for you.

Beef Empanada

Empanada treats are prevalent in Spain, Portugal, Latin America, Argentina, Philippines and Caribbean and other places around the world and are a type of stuffed pastry. Empanadas are often served at parties or festivals either as a starter or as part of the main meal. Empanadas have many different fillings depending on where they are originated from. In addition, empanadas can be either baked or fried.

Beef Empanada

In traditional beef empanadas it has many fillings such as beef, raisins, olives, hard boiled eggs and such. I personally love the traditional version but once again my audience at home I am cooking for is "teenagers". If any recipe does not get past my QA (Quality Assurance) analyst (youngest teenager, taste tester and professional food critic) then it does not hit my cooking blog. It is simple as that. With that being said, I took the liberty of adjusting the traditional ingredients so that it would be suitable for the picky teenagers in my household.

Beef Empanada

Just as an FYI, I brought out to the kitchen table a full plate of fried beef empanadas and headed back to kitchen to grab some last minute supplies. Upon my return to the table, only a few crumbs left on the plate.

Beef Empanada

The entire dish of beef empanadas were gone in nano-seconds. No words were said by Mr. QA analyst, but actions DO show louder than words. These little empanadas were a big hit. I hope your friends and family enjoy them too.

Beef Empanada

Beef Empanadas: (Serves 8 adults or 2 hungry teenagers as a snack or approximately 30-35 small beef empanadas)

Empanada Dough Recipe

  • 3 cups flour (plus a little more for kneading)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons butter or shortening

Step 1: In a small bowl beat egg, and add water and vinegar and mix together.

Step 2: In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients of flour and salt. Add butter and use a blender to mix.

Step 3: Add the egg, water, vinegar mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with blender until just combined.


Step 4: On a clean and floured surface lay out the dough and kneed gently just a couple of times to bring the dough together.

Beef Empanada

Step 5: Form the dough into a ball and wrap in syran wrap and refrigerate for one hour. (During this time make your beef empanada filling-recipe below)

Beef Empanada

Step 6: Take dough out of refrigerature and pat flat with hands and then lightly dust with flour the surface your are setting it on and top and use rolling pin to flatten dough.

Beef Empanada

Step 7: Step use a drinking cup or any device you have to cut out round circles from your dough (Just make sure you dip your cup in flour before cutting the dough so it does not stick)

Beef Empanada

Step 8: Make the Empanada filling- Recipe below.

Beef Empanada Filling

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3-4 tablespoons mild salsa (or per taste)
  • salt and pepper
Step 1: In a medium pan place one teaspoon oil and increase heat to medium. Add onion and garlic and saute until aromatic.
Step 4: Add ground beef, cumin and salt and pepper and cook until meat is browned.
Step 5: Add salsa and cook for 1-2 minutes until well mixed and remove from heat.
Step 6: Allow beef mixture to cool before assembling empanadas.

Empanada Assembly and Cooking

  • olive oil (enough for so that it covers the bottom of your pan)
  • fork for pressing and sealing empanadas
  • empanada dough circles
  • beef empanada filling
  • little bowl of water

Step 1: Take one empanada dough circle in your hand and place about 1 teaspoon of beef empanada filling inside. (Less filling is better in this situation as if you overfill the empanada it will break open during the cooking process) Dampen your finger tip lightly in a little bowl of water and run your fingers around the edges of the dough to help it seal.

Step 2: Fold the empanada dough in a half circle and crimp the edges with your fingers.

Step 3: Place the empanada on a a flat surface and using a fork gently use the fork edges to make a seal around the outer edges of the empanada. (The is will help reinforce the filling stay inside the flaky crust while cooking) Repeat this process and depending on the size of your cup you will end up with somewhere between 30-35 little beef empanadas.

Step 4: Place enough oil in your frying pan to cover the bottom of the pan and bring to a medium heat.

Step 5: Place the beef empanadas in the frying pan and cook until golden brown on each side. Turn after about 2 minutes. (about 5 minutes total) Depending on the size of the pan just fry in small batches as is easier to control the heat and easier to turn with fewer in the pan. (Just as an FYI, these beef empanadas can also be baked on a greased cookie sheet after first brushing a little egg wash on top of empanada and then bake in 400 degree F oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown)

Step 6: Eat and enjoy. Beef empanadas can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. (It is a great option for a make ahead party appetizer. Bite sized, hearty, but yet with a light and crispy crust is sure to please the crowds)

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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Beef Empanadas

By HWC Magazine  , ,   

September 20, 2011

  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yields: 8 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


flour -

vinegar -

butter -

egg -

onion -

garlic -

ground beef -

cumin -

salsa -

  • Vickie

    Yummy – great for tailgating!!!!

    • Thanks and yes a great tailgating treat. Michigan vs Michigan State game on October 15th-mark your calendars!

  • Vickie

    I have a request – recipe for a great Chinese soup. Can you help?

    • There are so many fantastic Chinese soups and now with the fall season at our door steps it is a perfect time to enjoy these healthy and warming soups. Just off the top of my head, I can make a lovely hot and sour, pork and carrot, sizzling rice soup, wonton, egg drop, Cantonese seafood soup, and other Chinese herbal soups. I will make sure to post some of these recipes on my blog soon. Take care

  • Pingback: Spiced Pumpkin and Date Empanadas « Bam's Kitchen()

  • Mm, perfect for a party buffet! We have similar mini pies here in Greece, usually with cheese or spinach fillings. It’s funny how there are similarities between cuisines that are on almost opposite sides of the world!

    • I have had those little fluffy Greek inspired spinach and cheese pies and they are gorgeous. International flavors that touch all borders of the world are my favorite. I think you could really put anything you desire inside of empanadas as they are just the outer pie shell. (curry, Moroccan chicken, seafood, and even dessert fruits would be lovely) Take care, BAM

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