Beef Argentinian Empanadas

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

With nothing much to do on a cold Sunday afternoon, my daughter suggested making empanadas.  While not difficult, we learned a few things about size.

What I would do differently next time, is allow the meat to cool enough to handle, it was quite hot.  I also would cut the dough at 4 inches, but roll it out larger.  This will make it easier to fold and seal, and allow for all of the filling to be used up as I had leftovers.

Beef Argentinian Empanadas


Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:


  • 2 1/4 cups of flour (I used a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 stick of cold unsalted butter (diced)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup of ice water
  • 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar



  • 1/2 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped finely)
  • 1/2 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon capers (finely chopped)
  • olive oil
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup of chopped (canned tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 egg (gently beaten with a fork (for the egg wash)


  1. Dough Instructions:


  2. Sift flour along with the salt into a large bowl. Use a pastry blender to work in the butter until the mixture is the texture of coarse meal and has only a few remaining small lumps of butter. You can also do this with your fingers by rubbing the butter into the flour.
  3. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg, water and vinegar together with a fork. Stir it into the dry mixture until it’s just incorporated.
  4. Flour your hands and shape the dough into a ball. Place it on a lightly floured surface and use a light hand to knead it gently a few times before forming it into a flattened ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.


Filling Instructions:


  1. To make the filling, heat approximately two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about five minutes (until it begins to soften). Add the pepper and continue cooking for another five minutes or so. Adjust the heat so that you do not burn the onion. Next, add the diced tomatoes with their juices and let cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add the beef, crumbling it with your fingers. Stir in the spices, capers, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the beef has browned. Stir, occasionally, so that the meat cooks evenly. Stir in the egg and dial down the heat to its lowest point.


Assembling the Empanadas:


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick (you can split the ball into several pieces, working with only a small piece of it at a time). Cut out roughly 4 inch round circles in the dough.
  2. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the center and fold the circle into a half moon. Use more or less filling, depending on the size of your circles. Pinch and fold the edges to seal them and place the formed empanada onto a prepared baking sheet. Continue to do this with the remaining dough and filling.
  3. Once you’ve formed all of your empanadas, brush them with the egg wash. Bake the empanadas for approximately 25 minutes (until golden brown).

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