beef empanadas

a short story:
my dad was born in the Dominican Republic, making me half Dominican. While {unfortunately} I never learned to speak spanish, I spent some time in my childhood with my dad's family, acquiring a taste for what I later learned to be empanadas {at the time, I called them meat patties}. I've always wanted to try to replicate my abuela's empanadas, but never came across a recipe that looked like the "meat patties" I knew and loved. This Christmas, I decided I was going to give it a try. After scouring the internet for a recipe and finding a ton of varieties, I asked my dad to just give his mom a call and ask for the recipe. This is the information I gathered from the phone conversation: "you need eggs and fat" .... awesome. 

and the recipe: beef empanadas 

Here's what you'll need...
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1/3 cup + a few drops of ice water
1 egg 
1 stick of frozen butter cut into small cubes

1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 onion sauteed (optional)
vegetable oil for frying

Here's what to do...
Sift together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture by rubbing it between your finger tips until it forms into small pea size balls of butter. In a separate bowl, mix together the ice water and egg and then add to flour/butter mixture. Using a fork, combine. The mixture will be dry. Flour a working surface and knead dough until its smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
Meanwhile, salt ground beef and cook through. Drain off fat and set aside. 
Roll out dough using a rolling pin until 1/8 thick. Using a cup (about 3-4 inches in diameter) cut out circles. Fill with 1 tablespoon of beef and fold over. Rub a bit of water along the edge and seal dough. Use a fork to press edges and secure. Repeat with remaining dough - makes about 15. 
Heat oil (about 1/4-1/2 inch deep) in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry empanadas 3-4 minutes per side in oil until golden brown. 


  1. Haha...I love that. Just like southern cooking when you need you some Crisco. These look delicious. xo

  2. I live for empanadas. I better make these on the asap before my boyfriend gets real serious about this paleo thing.

  3. I LOVE empanandas! and these look so tasty! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  4. These look and sound incredible. Love that its a meaningful recipe too!

  5. These look great. Love the story behind it. You know empanadas are one of my favorites. :)

  6. These look ridiculous, Lara! I must try sometime ...

  7. Yum! Can you please open a restaurant so I can eat your meals on a daily basis? I'd be so happy!

  8. Those seriously looks so good!

  9. Those look incredibly delicious!

  10. I LOVE empandas...I'm sooooo goign to make these!!! Sunday treat - since I just posted how I'm trying to be healthy and all!

  11. Empanadas are my favorite! My mom and grandma make them but I've never learned. I think its about time I do :)

  12. you're half dominican?! this makes me like you and your blog even more! (I'm dominican)You might've seen this site already, but just in case...