This recipe descends from my childhood as I spent many years alongside my Grandmother rolling and stuffing beef empanadas.
Truth be told, my Grandma seldom invited her granddaughters to cook with her since the kitchen was not her happy place. Second, she raised very overly opinionated and strong-willed girls who always wanted to change her recipes.
Nonetheless, beef empanadas were our common ground, one which she held so close to her heart she kept an extra mini apron and roller pin for those rare occasions.
My assignment was to roll the dough, cut out circles, and stuff each beef empanada. After each inspection, I could then proceed to folding and sealing each pocket with a fork.
Here’s the thing, once my Grandmother passed, I kept her roller pin instead of mine. However, it’s a bit too emotional to make dough from scratch without her by my side these days. Besides, Goya makes pre-made empanadas dough, which works for me. Of course, I have kept her tradition alive with lots of modifications to her original recipe. And I look forward to the time of having her approval.
This recipe is 100% from my heart.
Table of Contents
What Is A Beef Empanada?
Beef empanadas are savory dough filled pockets of happiness. They are great appetizers, side dish, or a meal all by themselves.
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 small Yellow onion
- 1/4 Green Pepper
- 6-8 Garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 small Potatoe, finely diced
- 3 lb Lean ground beef
- 2 pkgs Sazon Goya, sin achoiote (without pepper)
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 2 1/2 tspn Adobe without pepper
- 1/2 cup Green spanish olives
- 1 bunch Cilantro
- 12 oz Roasted garlic & herb sauce tomatoe sauce Homemade or store bought, such as Prego or Ragu
- Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.
- Begin by adding onion, finely diced potatoes, and green pepper; cook for a few minutes until lightly brown. The finely diced potatoes in my beef empanada recipe helps add to the flavor. Potatoes are like flavor sponges.
- Then add garlic and remaining ingredient MINUS the sauce. Cook for 20 minutes with the lid partly open to help evaporate liquid and stir often.
- Add sauce and cook for an additional 10 minutes. The sauce will help keep the meat from becoming dry, which is a common problem in many recipes. Always give it a few good stirs at the end and taste your beef filling. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
- Dab your fingers in water to moisten the edges of each empanada to ensure a good seal. Place about two tablespoons of meat filling in each circle and fold the dough to form the empanada.
- You can use your fingers to pinch little pleats; however, to follow tradition I use a fork for crimping. Lastly, use your fork to create vents on the top. This will help avoid the empanada from cooking unevenly while frying or baking.
Homemade Beef Empanadas Tips and Tricks
- When sealing the empanadas, make sure you are on a hard surface and firmly press down. This will ensure your filling stays in place during the cooking process.
- If you plan on freezing your empanadas, place them in the refrigerator on parchment-lined paper for 15 minutes first.
- To cut out calories, use a dough intended for baking. When doing so, seal your empanadas with an egg wash and brush the outside once filled. Only a little egg wash is needed to give them a beautiful golden-brown crust.
What Are Beef Empanadas Serve With?
In our household, empanadas always take center stage as a stand-alone dish. As a compliment, I make a Bean Salad Pico De Gallo.
However, when cooking for a crowd, I serve them as a side dish along with roasted chicken, rice, and beans.
If you have any questions on this recipe or would enjoy more Latin style dishes, please leave me a comment below.
Lastly, for home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company.
In the meantime, you may enjoy the following recipes, My Starbucks Copycat Recipes That Saves Our Wallets.