Cuban Empanadas

Fried (or baked) meat hand pie recipe filled with a spiced ground beef mixture with lots of sliced green olives and served with a chimichurri sauce. Homemade dough recipe is included!


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup solid shortening, chilled and cut into small pieces
3/4-1 cup warm water
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup red or green bell pepper, diced
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef (can substitute with ground turkey or ground chicken)
1/2-3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2-3 cups of oil for frying
Serve with: chimichurri sauce


In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
Add the chilled shortening pieces and mix into the flour mixture using fingers, can also use a pastry blender or two knifes. Using fingers, lightly mix in the warm water a little at a time until the mixtures forms into a ball and isn't sticky anymore.
Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and once oil is hot, add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the ground meat to the skillet, stir well and continue cooking until beef is browned and fully cooked, about another 10 minutes.
**After browning meat, can drain any excess fat from the pan.
Add the sliced olives, tomato sauce, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, cumin, and dried oregano. Stir well so all ingredients are combined, cover pan and lower heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until mixture thickens.
Check seasonings and add salt, if needed. Set aside and let mixture cool before filling each empanada.

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