Empanada also called pastel in Portuguese and pate in Haitian Creole is stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
Beef empanada is a half-moon-shaped turnover with a semi-sweet dough and savory beef filling. The meat is cooked with vegetables like potatoes, bell pepper and green peas, onions, and more. It’s up to you. But for now I will give you my version of Filipino Beef Empanada.
If you’re looking for more merienda recipes check out our Merienda Series including “Halo-Halo ” Filipino Iced Mixed Fruit Dessert, Halayang Ube (Purple Yam Jam), Banana Lumpia – Turon, Bibingka Galapong, Puto Cheese (Steamed Rice Cake with Cheese), Mais con Yelo – Refreshing Filipino Snack, Bananas in Syrup – Minatamis na Sabang Saging, Banana Que – Fried Banana Skewers, Pancit Palabok – Filipino Noodle Dish and Biko (Sweet Rice Cake) Treat!
2½ cups flour
8 oz. (2 sticks) butter
⅓ cup water ice cold water
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Meat Filling Ingredients:
½ pound ground beef
½ cup tomato sauce
1 pc. carrot, peeled and diced
1 pc. small potato, peeled and diced
½ pc. small onion, peeled and chopped
½ cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
½ cup water
1 tbsp. oil
¼ cup raisins
1 tbsp. salt or salt to taste
¼ tsp. pepper or more
Egg Wash Ingredients:
1 pc. egg
1 tbsp. milk
⅛ tsp. salt
Cut butter into cubes and freeze for about 1 hour.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt and chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Add butter to flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry blender or by pinching the fat into the flour mixture with hands. Work them together until resembling coarse cornmeal with pea-like, butter-speckled pieces.
Slowly drizzle water to flour-butter mixture and with hands, mix until just combined. Gently gather dough and press into a ball. If dough is too crumbly and does not hold together, add more water a tablespoon at a time. DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH LIQUID and DO NOT OVERWORK DOUGH. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
In pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant.
Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking to pieces with back of spoon, for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until pink is gone from meat.
Add tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until meat is fully cooked.
Add potatoes, carrots, green peas and raisins. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a colander, drain excess liquid.
Divide pie crust into 12 balls. Place each ball between two sheets of parchment paper and with a rolling pin.
Gently flatten each ball into 5-inch diameter and ¼-inch thickness. Using inverted bowl or round biscuit cutter, cut into dough by gently twisting to form circles with smooth edges. Trim excess dough.
On a flat work surface, lay dough circle and spoon about a heaping tbsp. of filling in the middle. Fold the bottom of dough over filling and with fingers, press edges firmly.
Using tines of a fork, press on sides of dough to firmly seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Make egg wash by whisking together eggs, milk and salt in a bowl.
On a lightly greased baking sheet, arrange prepared empanadas in a single layer and brush top with egg wash.
Bake in a 375 F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Allow to slightly cool for about 1 to 2 minutes and remove from baking sheet.