Beef Empanadas

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of The Epicurious Cookbook

Makes 10 empanadas


Special equipment: Deep-fry thermometer

  • 2 hard-boiled large eggs
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ pound ground beef chuck
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving 2 tablespoons juice, and chopped
  • 1 package (10) frozen empanada pastry disks, thawed
  • About 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying


Beef Empanadas

Click image to enlarge


Cut each egg crosswise into 10 thin slices.

Cook the onion in the olive oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened.

Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in the beef and cook, breaking up lumps with a fork, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

Add the raisins, olives, salt, pepper, and tomatoes with reserved juice, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced but the mixture is still moist, about 5 minutes. Spread on a plate to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200°F, with the rack in the middle.

Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on a dampened work surface (to help keep plastic in place), then roll out an erapanada disk on the wrap to measure about 6 inches.

Place 3 tablespoons of meat mixture on the disk and top with 2 slices of egg. Moisten the edges of the disk with water and fold over to form a semicircle, then crimp with a fork. Make 9 more empanadas in the same manner.

Heat 3A inch of vegetable oil in a deep 12-inch skillet over medium heat until it registers 360°F on a deep-frY thermometer. Fry the empanadas, 2 or 3 at a time, turning once, until crisp and golden, 4 to 6 minutes per batch.

Transfer the empanadas to a shallow baking pan and keep warm in the oven. Return oil to 360°F between frying batches.

Cook’s Note: The empanadas can be brushed with oil and baked on an oiled baking sheet in a 425ºF oven until golden, about 10 minutes. (They will not be as crisp as fried empanadas.


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