Cook This: Empanadas

The other day, I begged my mother-in-law to teach me how to make her Argentine empanadas. They remind me of tiny pillows of pure bliss! I mean, who doesn’t love puff pastry frilled with deliciousness? EVERYONE. Duh.

She stuffs hers with either deli-bought ham and mozzarella cheese cubes or a ground beef mixture. Here’s what you’re going to need to make the latter ones:

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lb. ground beef (20% fat)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 small red bell peppers, seeded, chopped
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup boiled egg
  • 2 packages of empanada wraps from Saltenas
  • ½ cup pitted green olives (Picholine or Spanish), rinsed well, cut in half lengthwise
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large pot over high. Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until browned but not completely cooked through, 6 – 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.
Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, bell peppers, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6 – 8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper. Add cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add reserved beef along with any accumulated juices to pot. Stir in 4 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 15 – 20 minutes; taste and season with salt and black pepper, if needed. Stir in chopped boiled eggs bits. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Preheat oven to 350°. Let dough sit at room temperature 15 minutes to temper. Remove 6 rounds from package, keeping plastic divider underneath, and arrange on a work surface. Place 2 Tbsp. filling in the center of each round. Top with 2 olive halves. Brush water around half of outer edge of each round. Using plastic divider to help you, fold round over filling and pinch edges to seal. Using a fork, crimp edges. Remove plastic and transfer empanada to a parchment-lined sheet tray, spacing 1″ apart. Repeat with remaining rounds (you’ll get about 12 empanadas on each tray).
Bake empanadas until golden brown and slightly darker around the edges for 25 – 35 minutes.
Enjoy and keep some uncooked and freeze for a day when “there’s nothing to eat!”

1 Comment

  1. Tracy
    October 17, 2018 / 8:26 am


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