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Cuban Beef Empanada Recipe

Cuban Beef Empanada Recipe


This is a traditional Cuban beef empanada recipe. This recipe comes from Spain. Other Caribbean countries have their own cooking variations.

Beef filling ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp ground bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup beef bouillon
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp of chopped parsley flakes.
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp chopped green olives

Pour three tbsp of olive oil in a skillet. Place onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat for about 2 to 3 mins until onions turn translucent. Add tomato sauce, beef bouillon and rest of ingredients, add ground beef, bring to low heat and cook for about 20-25 mins. If it has too much liquid, continue simmering uncovered, until most of the sauce has evaporated, and the mixture is neither too watery, nor too or dry, but just moist.

Dough ingredients for Cuban beef empanada recipe:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (beaten)
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil (for deep fry)

In a food processor, mix flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar and blend. Add the shortening and butter and mix in the processor (for a few seconds).

Then add the beaten whole egg and yolk and mix it in the processor. Add water little by little and mixing at the same time, until the mixture is consistent and stick together.

It’s not necessary to add all the water, just add it as you mix at your discretion. Transfer the mix into a working smooth surface and knead. Refrigerate for about ½ hr.

Directions for Cuban beef empanada recipe:

  • Divide the dough into 3 to 4 pieces and refrigerate any portion that you are not using.
  • Using a rolling pin all covered with flour, roll, and flatten a piece of dough to a thickness of about 1/16-inch. Cut into 4 or 5 inch round circles. Repeat this with the rest of the dough.
  • Put a full tbsp of filling on each cut dough (on the lower half of the circumference). Moisten the round edges with a little bit of water on your finger and fold over.
  • Seal the edges carefully by pressing down with your fingers forming a shell (you can also use the end tines of a fork to finish sealing).
  • Using a large deep skillet, pour out vegetable oil to a depth of about 1 ½” to 2″ and heat to 370 degrees. Place empanadas into skillet and fry them, turning them over after about 1 min, fry until golden brown (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  • Remove them and place them on paper towels to drain excess oil.