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Argentinean Meat Empanadas

Updated: May 25

(by Andreina P. Botto Roever, Valentina Roever, and Sophia Roever)


3 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 lb. ground beef (20% fat)

2 medium onions, chopped

2 small red bell peppers, seeded, chopped

kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

3 T. ground cumin

2 T. sweet paprika

1 T. dried oregano

¼ t. cayenne pepper

1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken stock or broth

2 t. sugar

1/2 c. raisins

3 packages (12 each) puff pastry dough for turnovers/empanadas (preferably Goya)

1/2 c. pitted green olives (Picholine or Spanish), rinsed well, cut in half lengthwise


Heat 2 T. oil in a large pot over high.

Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until browned but not completely cooked through, about 6 – 8 minutes.

Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.

Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, bell peppers, and remaining 1 T. oil, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6 – 8 minutes.

Season with salt and black pepper.

Add cumin, paprika, oregano, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add chicken stock and reserved beef along with any accumulated juices to pot.

Stir in sugar, 4 t. salt, and 1/4 t. black pepper.

Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 15 – 20 minutes.

Taste and season with salt and black pepper, if needed.

Stir in raisins.

Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and chill at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Let dough sit at room temperature 15 minutes.

Remove 6 rounds from package, keeping plastic divider underneath, and arrange on a work surface.

Place 2 T. filling in the center of each round.

Top with 2 olive halves.

Brush water around half of outer edge of each round.

Using plastic divider to help you, fold round over filling, and pinch edges to seal.

Using a fork, crimp edges.

Remove plastic and transfer empanada to a parchment-lined sheet tray, spacing 1inch apart. Repeat with remaining rounds (you’ll get about 12 empanadas on each tray).

Bake, rotating tray halfway through, until golden brown and slightly darker around the edges, 25 – 35 minutes.

Do ahead: Filling can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled. Unbaked empanadas can be made 3 months ahead; freeze on sheet tray, then transfer to freezer bags and keep frozen.

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