Beef empanadas are a delectable treat that combines a flaky pastry crust with a savory and flavorful beef filling. Originating from Latin America, these handheld pastries have become popular around the world for their satisfying taste and versatility. In this recipe, we will guide you through the process of making homemade beef empanadas from scratch. From preparing the dough to creating a mouthwatering beef filling, this step-by-step guide will help you create a batch of delicious empanadas that are perfect for any occasion.
For the dough:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 1 egg
- ½ cup ice water
For the filling:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the chilled butter cubes and use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg and ice water. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until the dough comes together.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and slightly caramelized.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the ground cumin, paprika, dried oregano, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Remove from heat and let the filling cool.
Assembly and Baking
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and divide it into small portions. Roll out each portion on a lightly floured surface to form a circle with about 1/8-inch thickness.
- Spoon a generous amount of the beef filling onto one half of the dough circle, leaving a border around the edges. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges together firmly to seal.
- Place the assembled empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling.
- Optional: Beat an egg in a small bowl and brush it lightly over the empanadas to give them a golden color when baked.
- Bake the empanadas in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Remove the empanadas from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. They can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.
- Serve the beef empanadas as an appetizer, snack, or main course.
- Accompany them with a dipping sauce like chimichurri, salsa, or sour cream.
- Pair with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables for a balanced meal.
In conclusion, beef empanadas are a delightful culinary creation that brings together the rich flavors of ground beef, aromatic herbs and spices, and a buttery pastry crust. With this recipe, you can easily make your own batch of beef empanadas at home. Whether you serve them as appetizers, snacks, or a main course, these savory pastries are sure to impress your family and friends. The combination of a golden-brown, crispy crust and a flavorful beef filling makes them an irresistible treat. So, gather your ingredients, follow the steps outlined in this recipe, and get ready to enjoy the incredible taste of homemade beef empanadas. Your taste buds will thank you!