This is a recipe I have been dying to share with you guys for years. My grandmother has been making these traditional Argentine beef empanadas for as long as I can remember (and at least as long as my dad can remember), and they are to die for. My grandmother is well-known for a lot of things- her dancing (let’s say she was very popular at my wedding), her hard work and determination (she moved to this country as a single lady with a 6 year old and no English, and ended up kicking ass at life), and her empanadas are just one of the many amazing recipes she makes for our family every year.
These empanadas are so special to me not just because of how delicious they are, but because they are so indicative of a woman who has shaped my life and inspired me every day. I am blessed with a lot of strong female role models, including my mom, her mother, and my dad’s mom. These ladies are the best in the world and I’m so lucky to have each of them in my life.
While I am certainly eager to share the recipe for these amazing beef empanadas with you all, I also filmed a video with my grandmother herself. It meant so much to me to make this video with her over the holiday break, and I truly hope you enjoy watching!
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 4 medium onions, chopped finely
- 6 bunches scallions (about 1.5 lbs), separated into whites and greens, and sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 3 lbs ground beef (85/15)
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 60 frozen empanada discos/wrappers (Goya or La Salteña brands prefered)
- 60 green olives (optional)
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- 2 eggs, whisked together
- sugar (optional)
- Heat up canola oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and the sliced white parts of the scallions and saute for a few minutes. When onions begin to soften, add the paprika and stir. Allow to cook for 20 minutes, until onions are completely softened. Add more oil if needed. Add the sliced greens of the scallions and continue to cook.
- Crumble in the ground beef and cook just until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in the cumin, and season with salt and pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Remove the pan from heat. Allow meat to chill in a large bowl until completely cooled (you can refrigerate the mixture overnight, if desired).
- When ready, preheat oven to 375°F. Remove empanada discos from packaging and bring to room temperature. Scoop about a ¼ cup of the meat (or picadillo) into the center of each disco. If desired, add in one olive and as many raisins as you’d like to each empanada, then line the circumfrence of each disco with water using your finger. Carefully pinch together the disco to form a semicircle enclosing the picadillo. Crimp with the repulgue, or rolled edge decoration, of your choice (simply pressing a fork’s tines into the seam works fine!)
- Place filled empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each empanada with the whisked egg, and sprinkle with sugar (if desired, totally not my thing!). Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly, then serve and devour
REMINDER: If you haven’t entered my giveaway for a slow-cooker yet, what are you waiting for? You have till tomorrow at midnight to enter!