serves 12



  • 1 pound ground or chopped beef
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 4 tsp. golden raisins, soaked in
  • 1/2 cup red wine or beef broth
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • pastry dough:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter, cut into small pea-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or lard
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten (to brush over tops)
  • Avocado Crema--See recipe below

Steps To Make Filling

In a skillet brown the beef and add cumin, stirring for one minute. Transfer beef mixture to a bowl. Add 2 tbsp. oil to skillet and saute onions until soft. Add garlic, jalapeno, and paprika and cook for one minute. Add reserved beef, raisins and wine (or beef broth), salt and pepper. Cook at low heat for five minutes. Sprinkle flour over beef mixture and stir. Remove from heat and cool completely. At this point, you can refrigerate or freeze this mixture until later when you’re ready to assemble the empanadas.

Steps To Make Dough

In a food processor, add flour, salt, and chopped butter and shortening. Pulse 20 times until mixture resembles corn meal. Add water to processor and pulse again 8-10 times, until mixture comes together to make a soft dough. You may need to add a few drops of water, but don’t let dough become to wet. Remove dough to a bowl and form into a “log” with your hands. Cut dough into pieces about the size of a large egg.

Assemble Empanadas

Make an “assembly line” with the bowl of filling, parchment-lined baking sheet, small bowl of water, small bowl with a beaten egg and pastry brush, and dough. On a floured surface, roll out each dough piece with a rolling pin until dough is 1/8” thick and approx. 6” in diameter. Trim to make a circle. Dip your fingers in the water bowl and moisten the edges of the dough circle. Add about 2 tbsp. of filling to the upper half of the dough circle. Fold over bottom half of circle and seal edges of dough, using the back of a fork. Place on parchment-lined baking pan. Repeat with remaining empanadas. Brush each with beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Serve with Avocado crema.

Ingredients & Steps For Avocado Crema

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or mayonnaise)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped jalapeno
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • salt, to taste

Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Season with salt.


Print Friendly and PDF