Peruvian Beef Empanadas

Everyone loves an empanada at any time of the day. They make an excellent snack or a light meal on the go. . . . They are even good for breakfast! Make them smaller to pass as finger food at your next gathering.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 1 hourTotal: 1 hour 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • 1 lb. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 4 oz. cold shortening
  • 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine
  • 1⁄2 cup raisins
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped olives


  • Combine the flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the shortening. Working quickly with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles oatmeal. Add about 1⁄2 cup ice water, a tablespoon at a time, kneading the mixture lightly until it no longer sticks to your hands.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, or put in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or while you make the filling.
  • Heat half the oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the beef and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and sauté until the onion is very soft, about 8 minutes. Add paprika and cumin, then the tomato and the wine. Put the beef back in the pan, stir, and add raisins, remaining salt, and pepper. Turn off the heat; add hard-boiled eggs and olives. Cool completely.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take a portion of the dough and, using a rolling pin, roll it on a lightly floured table to 1⁄4 inch thick. With a large cookie cutter, cut 4-inch rounds, spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center, and close the empanadas. Seal the borders by pressing with the tines of a fork. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and water, and brush the empanadas with this mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.