Monday, February 8, 2010

Beef Empanadas with Pique Sauce

I really can't stand football. But I know a few people who like it, and I don't hold it against them. I like to see them get all riled up and play strange games, hoot and holler and paint their faces (to an extent). So, I went to a party and watched all this animated tribal-ness (to be clear, it was a mixed-gender event) with beer in hand, while trying to console a baby who was up past his bed time. We left a pretty jazzed up party after half-time. The people were great. Football? Snore. What was nice is there was lots of food, of which I didn't get nearly enough. I brought empanadas which I have never made before. What a shame!


3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and form a well. Beat up all the wet ingredients and pour into the well, and mix slowly. Knead until ball is formed. Let sit an hour. Roll out and using a cookie cutter, or a can, cut circles. Roll each circle a little thinner and add filling to the center. Fold the circle and crimp the edges. (There are tons of step by step videos and stuff online if this isn't enough detail.) I baked these for ten minutes or so in a 425 degree oven.

What's great is that you can fill empanadas with just about anything. A typical filling is ground beef with lots of goodies. Mine were based on what was in the fridge. It ended up like this:

2 onions, diced, sauteed in olive oil
3 or 4 chopped cloves of garlic
2 lbs. of beef added to onions, cooked until done
add one cup of broth
add 2 boiled, peeled and diced potatoes

Then, the goodies:

3 pickled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup of candied lemon peels and fennel (!) [many recipe call for raisins, and I was out. I thought these lemon peels added bite, sweetness and a chewy texture.]
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

I served them with Pique sauce I made earlier in the day. Mix these ingredients well and let sit for a few hours.

6 green onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/8 cup of sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup of chopped parsley (cilantro is better, but parsley is what I had.)

N.B. I should mention that the filling yielded enough for about 26 small empanadas, and there was so much of it left (almost half) that I used it for dinner the next day--Shepard's Pie--with corn and mashed potatoes on top.


  1. ME EAT EM.


  2. I usually make these with leftover pie crust, but either way, they're genius for getting rid of leftovers. And everybody loves them.

  3. Mamou- Ha! You're cute.

    Peter- That sounds goood. There's nothing like a flaky empanada. I'll admit, this dough recipe is more bread-y.