International Recipes

Empanadas (Meat Pies - Argentina)

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  • 1/2 pound cold salted butter or margarine
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cold water

Beef Filling

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 sweet roasted pimento, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dark seedless raisins
  • 4 large eggs, hard-cooked, peeled and chopped
  • 24 small green pitted olives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Dough: Cut butter into pieces. Using an electric mixer, mix with flour and salt. Gradually add 3/4 cup water. Mix for 6 minutes. Dough should form a ball. Pat into round shape. Place dough in plastic bag and keep at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Divide dough in half and knead for 2 minutes. Roll out on lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/8-inch and 5 1/2-inches in diameter. This should make enough for 24 circles.
  3. Beef Filling: Heat oil in skillet and sauté onion until bright yellow. Add beef, stirring until beef loses its red color. Stir in pimento, raisins, oregano, paprika and salt and continue sauté ing for 2 minutes. Drain off excess oil; chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  4. Stir in chopped eggs just before filling the dough. Reserve olives to add to each empanada.
  5. Preparing the Empanada: Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. Place 4 tablespoons of filling on each circle of dough. Insert 1 olive into each mound of filling. If dough is dry, moisten with cold water. Fold dough in half. Press down firmly just below the mound of filling. Turn edge over, pressing down firmly just below the mound of filling. Turn edge over, pressing down firmly. Then working from left to right; crimp and pleat in points to seal edges. Brush each empanada with glaze made of 1 egg, beaten with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
  7. Place empanadas 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: about 24

Leftover baked empanadas can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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