Easy Ground Beef Empanadas | Empanadas de Carne Molida

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If you like empanadas, you must try our tasty Easy Ground Beef Empanadas recipe; it is a healthy alternative to the traditional deep-fried version. Perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner!

Yields: 24 Ground Beef Empanadas   |   Total Time: 90 minutes 

The Best Oven Baked Ground Beef Empanadas "Empanadas de Carne Molida al Horno"

Ingredients For Ground Beef filling:

  • 1 kg lean ground beef 90/10
  • 2 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 poblano Pepper or bell peppers, diced small
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 5 Garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons  knorr beef flavor bouillon
  • kosher salt, as needed 
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped 
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, minced

To Brush:

  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 tablespoon cream, milk, or water 
  • pinch of kosher salt 
  • pinch of sugar 

For the Empanadas dough:

  • 5 cups of flour, spoon into a measuring cup, level off with the back of a knife, and sifted 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or salted, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup cold water

Instructions

For Empanadas dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine sifted flour, softened butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until completely blended. With the motor running, slowly add in cold water and continue to mix until a soft and pliable dough forms, 5 to 10 minutes. Flatten the dough into a 6-inch round, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to let rest for 30 minutes to 4 hours.

On an un-floured flat work surface, roll out the dough into a 1/8 inch thick sheet; let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Then, cut out discs, using 5 to 6 inches rounds cutter or saucer, depending on how large you prefer.

Then, gather the scraps, add to the rest of the dough, and roll out another batch of circles. Repeat with the rest of the scraps. ( Lightly dust your work surface with flour, if necessary but make sure you flour only one side of the dough (if you flour both sides, this will prevent the dough from sticking together when crimping the empanada.)

Cover the discs with cling film and chill while you prepare the filling or if not using immediately, use wax or parchment paper to separate the stack and refrigerate or freeze to use later.

 

Perfect Ground Beef Empanadas "Empanadas de Carne Molida"

For the Ground Beef Empanadas filling:

Place the eggs in a saucepan in a single layer, and fill the pan with enough cold water to cover the eggs by about an inch. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice water. Carefully pour out the hot water; transfer the cooked eggs to the ice water to cool completely before peeling for about 10 minutes.Then, gently crack the eggs all over and peel them under running water. Pat, dry with a paper towel, and places them into a bowl. Using a fork, minced the eggs; cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Perfect Ground Beef Empanadas "Empanadas de Carne Molida"

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until it smokes lightly. Remove the pan from the heat and add the ground beef in a single layer—season with beef bouillon, black pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Return the pan to heat and cook, occasionally stirring, until the meat is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. 

Remove lid, and increase heat to high until and let dry up to a juicy but dry look for about 10 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and pepper until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the parsley and saute for 5  minutes to eliminate any excess liquid (the mixture should be moist but not runny. That’s the trick). Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add the minced eggs and mix well; chill in the refrigerator.

To assemble the Ground Beef Empanadas:

Position 2 racks in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment and dust with flour set aside.

Once the beef has cooled, spoon about 4 tablespoons in the middle of each empanada disc, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. (Avoid reaching the edges with the filling because oiliness will prevent a good seal).

Perfect Ground Beef Empanadas "Empanadas de Carne Molida"

Moisten the tip of your finger with a small amount of water and moisten the edges of the circle with your finger around half the border, then fold the dough over and press the edges together to seal and create a half-moon shape. Place the cutter or saucer over the empanada and use the edge to cut off any excess dough. 

Pleat the edges or crimp with a fork, removing any air pockets as you go. Place the empanadas as done in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet that has been dusted with flour. Repeat with the remaining rounds and filling. Let the ground beef empanadas rest in the fridge until you’re ready to bake for up to 3 hours.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk (do not beat until ready to bake) with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, whole milk, or water, and a pinch of salt and sugar.

The Best Oven Baked Ground Beef Empanadas "Empanadas de Carne Molida al Horno"

To Bake the Ground Beef Empanadas:

Lightly brush the top of the ground beef empanadas with the egg mixture (this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake) and bake the ground beef empanadas in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, until golden on top. Serve the ground beef empanadas warm with chimichurri sauce and a side of yucca, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • If you’re using frozen empanada disks, make sure to defrost the discs according to package directions before use.
  • You can refrigerate the uncooked ground beef empanadas for up to 3 hours.
  • Alternatively, you can fry the Ground Beef Empanadas: Heat 1-quart canola oil in a medium pot to 350 degrees F. Assemble the empanadas as above but leave out the egg wash step. Fry the ground beef empanadas in batches until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Feel free to add a touch of cumin, curry, or cinnamon
  • Try adding pitted chopped green olives, scallions,  seedless raisins, or capers.
  • I added red pepper flakes for a little bit of a kick; if you don’t like spice, feel free to omit.

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