Empanadas de carne

I’ve been nicknamed Empanadita for my love of empanadas and for making them so much! I grew up eating them made from the ready made Goya discs and didn’t know any different until someone asked me how I made my dough! Goya’s been holding me down since day one so I’ll share that recipe with you here, and I’ll share a dough recipe later!

With this recipe you can use ground beef, turkey or chicken or pork. I tend to stay away from ground beef as a personal preference but if you can get good quality ground chuck or something similar, go for it! The important thing is to taste the meat as you go to get the desired taste for your filling!

Empanadas

*Keep in mind meat will need to cool before you add it to the dough. You can prepare meat ahead of time, refrigerate and make the next day if you like as well!

Filling
1 lb Ground Meat
1 large Green Pepper
1 medium sized Spanish Onion
4 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp. Adobo with or without pepper
2 packets, Goya Sazón season
1 Tbsp. Picante Chombo (or Picante of your choosing)
Salt, Pepper, to taste

Dough
2 packages, frozen Goya Discs in orange or white (in frozen Latin section – keep frozen until ready to use)

To cook
Oil for frying
Oven for baking

Tools
A small bowl of water
A fork for closing the edges
Non-stick pan
Spatula
Spoon

Method

Preparing the Filling

  1. Heat pan at medium high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Remove ground meat from the package and cook in pan until no longer pink.
  2. Add onions, green peppers and garlic. Cook until soft.
  3. Add Adobo, Sazón and Picante by sprinkling over meat and mix well.
  4. Mix tomato paste with a little water and pour on meat. Mix well.
  5. Cook meat for a few more minutes making sure all spices and tomato paste are incorporated well. Taste as you go! Do you need more salt? Picante?
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro, mix and remove from heat.
  7. Cool down your meat! You can either spread it across a sheet pan covered in parchment paper or cool at room temp right in the covered pan.

Preparing the Empanadas

  1. Remove 1 package of discs from freezer and place on counter for 10 minute to defrost a bit. You want them to be cool enough so you can pull them apart but not too defrosted because they dry out and can get gummy.
  2. Gather your fork, spoon and small bowl of water. Once all 10 are spread out, spoon meat into one side of the disc and fold the other side over it. Pinch the corners together using the fork. If the corners are having a tough time closing, line the edges with a little water and try again.
  3. Repeat for all 20 empanadas! Store them in the plastic they were originally on, folded in half.
  4. Freeze in a gallon sized freezer bag until ready to fry or bake!

Ready to eat? Fry or Bake them!

Bake

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Line baking pan with foil or parchment paper
  3. Place frozen empanadas onto pan
  4. Bake for 20 minutes (10 on each side)

Fry

  1. Depending on size of pot or pan you have for frying, add enough oil to pot so that your empanadas will be floating in the oil, not touching the bottom of the pot.
  2. Heat oil and test by breaking off a corner of your empanada dough to see if it begins frying immediately. If not, wait a little longer. Oil must be hot enough. But not smoking otherwise outside will cook and inside will be cold. (350 degrees is ideal if you have a gauge to check)
  3. Place frozen empanadas into oil
  4. Fry until golden brown on each side
  5. Remove and place on a plate covered in paper towels to remove excess oil
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