Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Argentinian Spicy Beef Empanadas

My dad is a great cook and he’s Argentinian (I'm half Argentinian and half Dominican), so one of the first things he taught me how to make was Argentinian Empanadas (small pastries filled with spicy beef and other savory items). Empanadas are nearly always served as appetizers or snacks at parties in Argentina and I have adopted this tradition in our own home too, especially when we have get-togethers. Needless to say, I’ll be serving these little Argentinian favorites for Super Bowl this Sunday.

Spicy Beef Empanadas

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 handful pitted green olives, finely chopped (traditional but optional)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (traditional but optional)
  • 1-2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped (traditional but optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (not traditional but I like them spicy)
  • 1 tbsp smoked or sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp dry oregano
  • 1 flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 package frozen empanada dough/discos (sold frozen– Goya is a good brand)* or click here for empanada dough recipe.
  • 1 egg, beaten with one tbsp water

Sauté the onion garlic and red bell pepper in olive oil over medium heat until just soft and fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain excess fat.

Add all remaining ingredients except the eggs and raisins and cook until everything is heated through and excess moisture has evaporated. The filling should be a little dry and stiff; filling that is too wet will leave you with soggy empanadas. Add in the eggs and raisins last (optional), turn off heat. Cool filling.

Preheat oven to 375.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, if applicable. If using pre-made dough, thaw and set out on a lightly floured surface. Pack filling into a tablespoon and set spoonfuls of filling just off center on each disco (frozen turnover dough). Do not over fill.

Use your finger (dipped in water) to wet dough all along the edges and fold each dough round in half, pressing tightly to fill. Crimp with fingers or make a pretty pattern around the edges with a fork.

Place empanadas on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops with egg wash, Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 25 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool.

In the South Bay you can find empanada discos at:

El Gaucho Meat Market
2715 Manhattan Beach Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
(310) 297-2617

Continental Gourmet Market
19121 Prairie Ave
Hawthorne, CA 90250
(310) 676-5444


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