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Empanadas de Carne (Beef Empanadas) from Nikki S. Moore


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Posted on November 2, 2010
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In college, I spent a semester studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The apartment where I lived during that time was above a little shop that sold empanadas by the dozen. Empanadas are turnovers that contain a variety of fillings. My favorite type of empanada in Argentina was one filled with ham and cheese, reminiscent of a croque monsieur. Packed in a large box and decoratively crimped to indicate their filling, these savory pastries were my South American substitute for pizza and I ate dozens of them during my time abroad.

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  • For the dough:
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 lb cold vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup ice water, more if needed
  • For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green olives, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten



Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the dough, whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Remove the ice from the water. Slowly add the water to the flour. Stir to combine the flour and water. The dough should be soft. Add another 1/4 cup of ice cold water if the dough seems too dry.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it briefly. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet until hot. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the ground beef. Cook until the meat is brown then stir in the raisins, green olives, mustard, cumin, salt, and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir to combine.

On a floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 15 circles using a 3-inch round cutter. Repeat with the other disk of dough.

Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each circle. Fold the circle in half, covering the filling, and firmly press the edges together. Use the tines of a fork to seal the empanada.

Add a little water to the lightly beaten egg to form egg wash. Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheets and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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