Seriously, what is there NOT to love about empanadas?
When the husband and I were on our honeymoon in Brazil, vendors would walk up an down the beach selling homemade empanadas to us while we lounged in the sun. It was heaven.
The buttery, flaky crust just tastes so incredible along with the spiced beef and bean filling. I can’t wait to make another batch!
In other news, I think I’m slowly getting over my fear of pastry dough and pie crust. This counts, right?
So I made these on a Sunday and fed them to the husband while he was watching football (I seem to be identifying a trend, here). We had leftovers, so I ate them for breakfast during the week. Which is probably ridiculous, but I’m not really a breakfast food person anyway.
But they are just so perfectly proportioned for an on-the-go hand-held snack! How could I resist?
This isn’t something you’d probably want to try to make on a weeknight because the dough needs an hour to hang out in the fridge while you prepare the filling. Start to finish, it took me about 2 hours (an hour of which is just letting the dough rest). TOTALLY worth it though, you guys. I promise.
I just get really excited when things are golden brown and filled with deliciousness. Mmm.
Okay, enough drooling! Here’s the recipe:
1 hr, 30 Prep Time
25 minCook Time
1 hr, 55 Total Time
- 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
- 1 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1 stick of cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 c. of ice water
- 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp. of paprika
- 1 Tbsp. of ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 Tbsp. of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 c. canned diced tomatoes with green chilies (such as Rotel brand)
- 1/2 c. black beans
- 1/2 c. shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs, beaten (divided)
- Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. Add the cold butter pieces and use a pastry blender to work the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg, water, and vinegar and beat together with a whisk. Pour the egg mixture into the flour and stir gently until it incorporated.
- Dust a flat surface with a little flour and leave some on yours hands. Grab the dough out of the bowl and shape it into a ball. Place it on the floured surface and knead gently a few times. Pat it into a flattened ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge for one hour.
- While it is resting, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until it softens (about 4 minutes). Add in the red pepper, lower the heat to medium, and cook for another five minutes. Add in the canned tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Add the lean ground beef to the pan and use a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces as it cooks. Stir in the spices and cilantro. Once the beef has cooked all the way through, stir in the beans and cheese, taste the mixture and then add salt and pepper to your liking. Stir in one of the beaten eggs and turn the heat down to low. Continue stirring until the egg no longer looks translucent (about two minutes or so). Remove from heat.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough from your fridge and roll it out with a rolling pin on a floured surface until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out roughly 4 inch round circles in the dough (use biscuit cutters or a small bowl turned upside down). Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the center and fold the circle into a half moon. Use the tines of a fork to pinch the edges together to seal the empanada closed. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue to do this with the remaining dough and filling.
- Once you’ve formed all of your empanadas, brush them with the egg wash. Bake the empanadas for approximately 25 minutes (until golden brown).