Empanadas are a type of baked or fried pastry, consisting of dough and a filling. The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, and literally translates as “enbreaded,” that is, wrapped or coated in bread. Empanadas trace back their origins to the northwest region of Spain, Galicia. A cookbook published in Catalan in 1520, Libre del Coch by Robert de Nola, mentions empanadas filled with seafood in the recipes for Catalan, Italian, French, and Arabian food.
Thanks to the Spanish conquistadors and spice traders of the 16th century, empanadas are now an an essential part of the cuisines of Latin America, the Philippines, Argentina, and Mexico. Different cultures each use various stuffing dictated by the available ingredients such as pork, beef, potatoes and tuna fish. This recipe version makes for smaller empanadas (empanadillas) best served as an tapas spread.
Empanadillas de Carne – Mini Meat Pies
- Large skillet
- Medium bowl
- 1 Package 40-50 Chinese dumpling wrappers
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp Green pepper, minced
- 1 lb Ground beef
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 3 tbsp Tomato paste
- ½ cup Water
- 1½ tbsp Dry red wine or sherry
- ½ tsp Crushed dried red hot chili pepper or Cayenne
- Oil for frying, enough to cover pies while cooking
- Sauté the onion, garlic, and green pepper in oil in a large skillet until soft. Turn heat to high and add ground beef, cooking until it begins to brown. Drain excess liquid. Salt and pepper the meat and add water, wine, red pepper, and tomato paste. Cook another 10 minutes. Remove to a bowl and rinse out skillet.
- Place 1 tbsp meat mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Wet the outside rims and fold in half, pinching to seal.
- Heat at least 1-inch deep of oil in a skillet until very hot. Lower heat to medium and slowly add-in pies in batches. Turn frequently until golden brown. Drain on paper towels then transfer to a serving platter. Serve with a dip like Romesco sauce.