By Mary Markel for The Island Connection
“The filling for this recipe only requires about ¼ lb of ground beef. I go ahead and make a larger batch and serve the excess filling for a taco salad or chalupas. I usually freeze the empanadas and bake from frozen for easy entertaining.”
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, peeled and chopped fine
1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 Tbsp or more Fiesta Taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dough (you can use store bought pie dough if you wish)
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp or more taco seasoning
1 pinch salt
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces
8 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- In a cast iron skillet or sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and a pinch of salt and sauté until limp, about 10 or 15 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook breaking up the meat until it’s no long pink. Add the taco seasoning and cook stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Cook until liquid is evaporated mashing the tomatoes as well. Set aside to cool and refrigerate until ready to make dinner or empanadas!
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse the flour, seasoning and salt. Add the butter and cream cheese pieces and pulse until a ball begins to form.
- Divide dough into four pieces and press out into plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Roll out each piece to less than 1/8-inch-thick and cut with a 4-inch round cookie cutter. Rub the edge of the circles with egg wash. Add a heaping tsp of filling to the middle of each round. Fold over and press closed with the tines of a fork. Place on a cookie sheet where the pastries are not touching and refrigerate or freeze. If freezing you can put into a freezer safe plastic bag until ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the outside of the pastries with egg wash and bake on a parchment lined sheet pan for about 15 minutes until nicely browned. Serve warm with chipotle or spicy ketchup if desired.