October 2, 2015 § 30 Comments

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Not only are these little tasty meaty pillows fun to eat, but they are quite simple to put together.  Well, truth be told, although a smooth process of assembly, they are a bit time consuming.  One hour and a half start to table, but, I’m here to tell you they are worth it.  If you have a little extra time and would like to spend it in the kitchen, I recommend making empanadas.


I love a good cooking project and this one in particular is very relaxing and unhurried.  The pliable dough was a joy to work with, especially with the folding and crimping of the edges. Oh, and the delightful aroma of the beefy filling will spread through your home and create considerably above normal anticipation for dinnertime. No doubt you’ll enjoy spooning a bit of chimichurri sauce onto each bite.

I n g r e d i e n t s

For the dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter
  • 1 cup warm milk (maybe a little less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1 pound free range, grass fed ground beef
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 egg white, whisked

First, make the dough and refrigerate while preparing the filling.  Mix the flour & salt in a food processor, add the butter and blend well.  Add the egg yolk and milk, in small amounts, pulsing until small dough clump forms.  Make two flattened disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until filling is ready, at least 30 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan.  Add onions and salt, cook until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the beef and break apart with a wooden spoon, cook until browned.  Add spices and combine well.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Once cooled add scallions and fresh oregano.

On a lightly floured surface thinly roll out the dough and cut out disc shapes. If you don’t own a disc cutter (like me) you may use a small plate or bowl.  To assemble the empanadas, add a large spoonful of beef in the center of each disc.  Brush the edges of the disc with egg whites.  Fold empanada disc and seal the edges gently with your fingers.  Use a fork to seal the edges.  Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with egg whites and refrigerate for 30 minutes, while pre-heating the oven to 400°F.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Serve warm with chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2  cup basil leaves (or you may use cilantro)
  • 3 oregano sprigs, leaves removed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (we used apple cider vinegar)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons chili powder (add according to your taste, we go a little heavy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Taste and adjust by adding more vinegar or chili powder, according to your preference.



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