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Mini Beef Empanadas

Mini Beef Empanadas

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 36 empanadas


  • one 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat or lard
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 ounces fresh chorizo, removed from casings and crumbled
  • 8 ounces Russet potato, peeled, small dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon pimenton dulce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped, pitted, green olives
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, chopped


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and the butter unitl smooth. Gradually add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and continue beating until they are thoroughly combined.

    Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough lightly by hand, shape into a disc, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour and up to overnight.

  • While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling. Season the chopped beef with salt and pepper and let stand for 5 minutes.

    In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the bacon fat. Add the beef in batches and cook until lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Add the onions and chorizo and continue to cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

    Reduce the heat to medium, add the thyme and tomato paste and stir until the tomato is fully incorporated. Add the potatoes, pimenton and beef broth and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the potatoes are cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Fold in the olives and the raisins. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set the filling aside to cool.

  • Preheat the oven to 375º F.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3 1/2-inch plain, round cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can. Set the rounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Gather the scraps of dough, press together and lightly knead the dough into a disk. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick and again cut as many rounds as possible.

    Moisten the outer edges of each round with water. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each round, wrap the dough around the filling to form a half moon shape. Press the edges together and crimp with a fork.


  • Place the empanadas on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Brush the tops lightly with melted butter and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

    Serve warm.

    The empanadas can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month.

Recipe Details