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Every Christmas Eve we have a family gathering and have a huge Mexican (or at least Mexican inspired) feast complete with Mexican Rice, taquitos, enchiladas, guacamole, salsa, and empanadas. Usually we’ve gotten the empanadas from a local Mexican bakery but I wanted to be able to eat them without having to go out to that bakery.
I’ve tried making empanadas at home a few times but the recipes I tried have never really hit the spot. I finally found a recipe off Food Network that with a little tweaking fit the bill.
I use my trusty ol’ pie dough recipe instead of the empanada dough she suggests. I’m sure to purists this is a sin but I know I can make this pie dough without screwing it up and I often have leftovers of it floating around in my fridge or freezer so I just use that. No need to over complicate things.
I made the first batch fried which were amazing! Flaky pie fried pie crust with that savory filling. Yum! They do take longer to make because I could only do one in a time in my little deep fryer but I love that little deep fryer!
Baking them is easier because you can bake a whole ton at once and certainly lighter without all that deep fried goodness but they don’t have quite the same flavor as the fried version. So I leave it up to you!
- Pie crust recipe for double crust, x4
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4 tsp garlic powder
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1½ tsp chili powder
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 small potatoes, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Oil, if frying
- Clean potatoes and pierce several times with a fork. Microwave for about 6 minutes, until tender, turning half way through. Allow to cool slightly and then dice.
- Make your favorite pie crust recipe according to its directions. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- For empanada filling, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Cook ground beef and garlic salt until beef is cooked completely. Drain the grease and remove beef to a separate container.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the remaining spices and bell peppers and onions. Cook for about 8-10 minutes over medium heat until they begin to soften.
- Add the ground beef and diced potatoes and continue to cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured work surface till a ¼ inch thick. Cut out 5 inch rounds and fill with a large spoonful of meat filling. Carefully fold the dough over the filling and pinch to seal. Using a fork, press the tines into the edges to completely seal them.
- If frying, heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Fry the empanadas until golden brown turning over if necessary to brown the top, about 5-7 minutes.
- If baking, heat oven to 350 degrees F and place empanadas on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is a light golden brown color.