Wednesday, November 2, 2011


This past weekend I was invited for brunch and a bonus. The bonus was that a friend, Carlos, was going to be making empanadas three ways. Count me in! I'd made sweet empanadas before so I admit, that's what I was expecting. Wrong. Carlos brought 3 different fillings with him; beef, black bean and feta cheese. I watched carefully as he shared some of his tips.

Although Carlos did share the recipe, I didn't get a chance to write the recipes down so I'll share a couple that look very similar at the end of this post. I'm not remembering where I found them so I'll apologize for not referring the sources.

We started with premade empanada discs available in any latin grocery stores.

Then came the fillings; beef, black beans and feta cheese.

The first combination was black bean and feta;
I asked about the amount of beans and how it affects the system. A great tip was to cook the beans in water with a teaspoon of baking soda to remove the gaseous effect.

Then beef;

Tip: If you want to make sure your empanada doesn't open up when baking, do a double pinch method;

The finished product should look like this.

Bake at 325 for 20 minutes.

Beef Filling

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 pound ground beef chuck
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving 2 tablespoons juice, and chopped
1 package frozen empanada pastry disks, thawed

Black Bean Filling

200 grams dried black beans
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Pancetta or bacon rashers
1 onion
1 green pepper
2 cloves of garlic
Fresh coriander
Olive oil
SaltBlack pepper
Worcestershire sauce (Salsa Inglesa)

Place the beans in a large saucepan or bowl. Cover with tap water leaving at least an inch of water above the beans as they will swell. Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. Leave overnight.Before cooking, drain and rinse beans under the tap. Place in saucepan or pressure cooker and cover with fresh water. Bring to boil and boil vigorously for 10-15 minutes. Add no salt.Reduce heat and simmer until soft - 60 minutes (minimum) in saucepan, 45 minutes in pressure cooker.To make the sofrito used to flavour the beans finely chop onions and peppers.Dice pork into small cubes.Crush garlic cloves in mortar or garlic crusher.Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add onions and when they start to brown add pork and peppers and garlic.Season with salt, pepper, oregano, a small pinch of cumin and Worcestershire sauce and when all ingredients are cooked remove from heat.When beans are cooked place some of the water and beans in a blender, add the cooked sofrito and blend until creamy. Pour back into beans and simmer to reduce and allow flavours to combine.Finely chop coriandor and add to beans just before serving, stir through.

Black Bean recipe
Culinary History


rented life said...

yum! This sounds so good.Thank you for sharing, I just introduced my husband to empanadas while eating out, but making them ourselves will be a nice treat.

Cyberpelón said...

I feel like having some right now!!!!

That Girl said...

I don't think we even have empanada disks at our supermarket!

Sober Julie said...

Oh wow that looks fantastic, I may have to send Hubby into the city soon to pick me up empanadas!

FOODalogue said...

You learn something new every day. I've made empanadas eons of times but I never thought about the double crimp. They look beautiful. Thanks for posting this!