Saturday, June 26, 2010

Beef Empanada

Beef Empanada (Sweet stuffed pastry)
The Filipino empanada was introduced by the Spaniards made by folding a sweet pastry dough around filling that usually contains ground beef or pork, chopped onion and raisins. Baked and flaky fried versions of empanadas can be also found in cultures like Portugal, the Caribbean and Latin America. I love the crispy fried empanadas most and sharing this recipe for you to enjoy!
Did You Know: Empanadas are great as appetizers and snacks on the go! There are over 25 countries that have an empanada version of their own from Argentina to Nigeria to Portugal.

Makes 20-22 pieces


Beef filling:

1 lb lean ground beef

1 medium onion chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup green onion, chopped into 1/8" pieces

1 large potato, chopped into 1/4" cubes

1 carrot, chopped into 1/4" cubes

½ cup sultana raisins

1 tbsp soya sauce

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Salt & pepper


  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic, then add potatoes and carrots, cook till soft. Add beef and soya sauce. Keep stirring to break up clumps, cook for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the sultana raisins and sugar, cook for 2 more minutes. Add salt & pepper and taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Drain all excess liquid from beef filling. Let mixture cool completely in the fridge before using as filling in pastry.
Delicious Tip: Customize your empanada! Try using pork or chicken breast (cooked & shredded) instead of beef, or add frozen peas, sliced boiled egg, and/or mozzarella cheese.

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tspn baking powder

1/2 tspn kosher salt

250 grams cold butter, cubed

1/4 cup cold water

1 egg

vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. Combine all the dry pastry ingredients into a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse a few times to mix. Add cold cubed butter. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until dough resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the machine running, pour in the egg and ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
  2. Dump the dough onto a floured board, knead until you have a smooth dough ball. The texture should feel like smooth play dough. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes.
  3. Remove cold dough from fridge and divide into 1/4 cup size pieces, place on a floured baking paper. With a rolling pin, flatten each piece into a circle about the size of a small saucer.
  4. Place 1/8 cup of cold filling on the upper side of the pastry. Fold the lower side of the pastry over the filling and make sure you firmly press the edges to seal the encased filling.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you finish your dough. Place the uncooked empanadas in ziplock bags and place in freezer. Freezing the empanadas before frying will keep the dough staying crispy.
  6. Heat vegetable oil in medium saucepan to 350 degrees. Fry 3 pieces at a time, making sure to keep flipping the empanadas so they do not burn. Cook until golden brown and drain cooked empanadas on paper towels.

Delicious Tip: You can freeze cooked empanadas, tightly sealed in a ziplock, for up to 2 months. Simply take out the frozen empanadas and bake on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree heated oven. Great way to have yummy appetizers on the ready before guests arrive!


  1. these look absolutely delicious. i'm a pinay (filipino female) living in san francisco and I've been fantasizing about those special foods that I had growing up in a filipino community in new york city. a woman named pinky sold empanadas and ensumada (and did mani pedis!) in my apartment building and made special empanada without raisin and egg for all the bratty american born kids who just wanted their meat and potatoes!

    1. Thanks for sharing SpicyBrowngirl! I absolutely love empanandas and had to make them myself because they were only recently more available in food stores here in Vancouver. I still enjoy making them tho;)

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