Empanadas are stuffed pastries, baked or fried, very popular in Spain and in the Americas. Empanadas are made by folding the dough over the stuffing, which may be sweet or salty. Stuffing may consist in meat, cheese, fish, vegetables or other delicious ingredients.
I choose to prepare beef empanadas especially for my husband who loves meat stuffed pastries.
The dough is made from flour, butter, egg, salt and a few tablespoons of very cold water. It is actually a shortcrust pastry, very easy to prepare. In this case you should to prepare a dough a little bit softer than a regular shortcrust pastry to be easier to roll out. It’s not necessary to add any raising agent (like baking powder or baking soda).
For stuffing you may use beef or pork and your favorite herbs and spices. You have to cook the stuffing until reduced otherwise you’ll get moist pastries.
To assemble empanadas you have to roll the dough into a this sheet then cut 10-14 cm (3.93-5.51 inches) diameter circles of dough. I recommend you , to try 12 cm (4.72 inches) diameter empanadas because they have the perfect size, neither to small nor to big and they are easier to fill and fold.
Serve these delicious beef empanadas warm or at room temperature, as a snack or as an appetizer.
Ingredients for beef empanadas:
– 375 gr (3 cups) flour
– 170 gr (1 and 1/2 stick) cold butter
– 1 egg
– 2/3 teaspoon salt
– about 30-45 ml (2-3 tablespoons) cold water or as needed to bring the pastry together
– 450-500 gr (about 1 lb) ground beef
– 1 onion
– 1 red bell pepper
– 1 bunch of fresh parsley
– 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of vegetable oil
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 3 garlic cloves
For the egg wash: mix 1 egg yolk with 1-2 tablespoons of milk or water
How to make beef empanadas
You should start by preparing the dough
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add 2/3 teaspoon salt.
Add cold butter, diced, and mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can work the dough with your hands, rubbing your thumbs against your fingers.
Add the egg and incorporate.
Add a few tablespoons of very cold water (30-45 ml/ 2-3 tablespoons) to help you bring the pastry together.
Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour.
Meanwhile prepare the stuffing.
Finely chop the onion and place it into a skillet along with 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of vegetable oil. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until glossy. Add the bell pepper cut into small strips and continue to cook until softened.
Add the meat, season with salt, pepper, hot paprika and ground cumin and continue to cook until cooked through and reduced (until all juices are evaporated).
Add crushed garlic and continue to cook for about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add chopped parsley. Set aside and allow to cool.
How to assemble beef empanadas
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it onto a floured working surface.
Roll out the dough into a thin sheet. Cut the dough into 12 cm (4.72 inches) circles.
Place about 1 tablespoon of stuffing on the center of each circle of dough (you may adjust the amount of stuffing so you can easily fold the dough).
Fold the dough over the stuffing (making a semi-circle). Press the edges together with a fork.
Place the beef empanadas onto a non-stick baking tray (or any other baking tray lined with parchment paper).
Gather the remaining dough (after you cut the first round of circles), roll it out again and cut more circles.
Repeat until you finish the dough.
Brush beef empanadas with egg wash. Place the empanadas into the preheated oven and bake at 190ºC (374ºF) for about 20 minutes (or until golden on top and crisp).
Serve these absolutely delicious beef empanadas warm or at room temperature.