Place oil in frying pan and heat up to medium heat. Add onion and garlic and fry until aromatic. Add ground beef and salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 3-5 minutes until browned. If excess oil, drain the fat from the pan. Add chopped red bell pepper, tomato paste, (water, broth or wine to thin out a little), paprika, oregano, cumin and green pitted olives and cook for 2 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.. You want the mixture to be slightly saucy but not wet as you do not want the empanadas to leak from the crust. Allow Beef mixture to cool.
Remove the pre-made pie crust from the carton and lie flat on your counter or cutting board. Use a 4 inch bowl to cut out round circles. (We were feeding a huge crowd so we made 34 empanadas). Place a little egg wash or water around the edge of each pie crust circle. Place 2 tablespoons cooled beef mixture into each circle on one side. Close the empanada in half. Press your fingers around the edges. Then you can either use a fork to go around the edges to press and seal or crimp the sides by folding over the edges. Take a fork and place a couple of little holes near the crimped edges to allow the steam to escape during the baking process. Continue this same process with the remaining empanadas.
Place your prepared empanadas in the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to baking. Pre-heat oven for 375 degree F (190 degrees C) Brush your empanadas with egg wash. Bake Empanadas for 18- 20 minutes uncovered or until golden brown.
Serve beef empanadas hot out of the oven with an chimichurri sauce if desired. enjoy!
You can make your beef empanadas up to the point of baking up to 8 hours in advance and store in the refrigerator until your guests arrive and then bake when your guests arrive. You may also freeze unbaked beef empanadas on the baking sheet. Once the empanadas are frozen solid you can place in a freezer bag or plastic sealed container up to 3 months. You can then bake directly from the freezer. Do not unthaw.
Empanadas can also be eaten at room temperature but they are absolutely fantastic hot out of the oven.
You may wish to add raisins or hard boiled eggs slices to your empanadas if desired.