Beef Empanadas

One of my favorite dishes is picadillo. Not only is it easy to make but I typically have left-overs Sometimes those left-overs are used to make beef empanadas. Who doesn’t like a delicious hand held meat pie? I eat them as a snack though my husband thinks it can be a complete meal. When I make them he says, “empanadas are not a snack.” I’m sure his response is partially fueled by the fact that I used the larger empanada disc to make them. Of course, for some reason his retort always seems ridiculous to me. Not a snack? I only eat these as appetizers or snacks. Of course, I consulted some of my friends. The responses were half and half.

Once I thought about it, I guess technically you can make an empanada a complete meal. Add some vegetables like potatoes or peas to your meat mixture. Or you could serve it on a bed of lettuce. Or some maduros? Sweet plantains are a great addition to many cuban dishes.

It doesn’t take much for me to want empanadas. Luckily, I made picadillo earlier in the week, so I used that ground beef mixture to stuff the empanadas. If you know you are planning on using picadillo to fill the empanada dough, make sure you use olives stuffed with pimientos. I would also suggest slicing the olives.

Beef Empanadas

Makes 10

Ingredients:
  • 1 package La Fey dough for pastries (thawed)
  • 2 1/2 cups of picadillo (click link for recipe)
  • 1/4 quart of vegetable oil (if frying)
  • 1egg (if baking)

Directions:

Place un-opened empanada dough and picadillo on counter.

Once empanada dough is opened, place a wet paper towel over the dough you are not using.

Remove one disc of dough and in the center place 1/4 cup of picadillo.

Lightly wet the edges of the dough.

Fold the dough in half and gently press the edge of the dough together with a fork.

Repeat the above for all 10 discs of dough.

Frying Directions:

In a cast iron frying pan, heat of oil to 375 degrees.

Fry empanadas two at a time (over crowding the pan will decrease the heat of your oil).

Fry until each side is golden brown. Approximately 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Place fried empanadas on a baking sheet covered with paper towels to allow excess oil to drain.

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray baking sheet with oil.

Gently brush completed empanadas with beaten egg and bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

Flip empanada over after 8 to 10 minutes.

Baked Beef Empanada

Continue baking until empanadas are gently brown.

Remove from oven.


I love hot sauce on my empanadas, but that’s probably because I eat it like an appetizer. Depending on whether you considering this dish an appetizer or dinner will dictate how you decide to eat it.  This dish is also a great way to make use of leftovers.

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