Beef and Spinach Empanadas


Beef and Spinach Empanadas


3 cups white flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup ice cold water

300g minced beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 large tomato, chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup dry sherry
1 fresh chilli, chopped
Large bunch spinach, washed wilted over heat in a saucepan then drained and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Recipe by: Lauraine Jacobs
Publication: The Confident Cook (Jan 2006)
Recipe ID: 100328


Even holidays are like work for a curious cook. We took our grown-up children on a Caribbean cruise a few years ago and I was fascinated by the food we found at all the ports of call. These little tasty pastries are inspired by some Jamaican patties filled with vegetables and meat that we ate in Ochos Rios. Most of the countries in the Caribbean and the Americas make them in one version or another. Serve them with a favourite dipping sauce or salsa.  



To make the pastry, place the flour and salt in the bowl of the food processor. With the motor running, tip in the oil and process until it is incorporated. Add the water slowly, and when the dough starts to come together in beads the size of tiny pearls, switch off the motor and tip the mixture out onto a floured board. Draw the dough together by kneading gently. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

To make the filling, heat a large frying pan and cook the beef mince for about 10 minutes until it is crumbly and lightly browned. Add the onion, garlic and spices and cook for a little longer until the onion softens. Add the remaining ingredients, except the spinach, and cook over a high heat until the juices start to evaporate. Stir in the spinach and adjust the seasoning. Allow to cool.

To assemble the empanadas, roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick. Using a 10cm pastry-cutter, cut out 15-20 rounds.

Place around one heaped teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each dough round and fold over to form a half-moon shape. Seal the edges with a little water and crimp together.

Pour the oil to a depth of about 2.5cm in a frying pan and heat until it is quite hot but not smoking. Fry the empanadas until golden brown on each side (about three to five minutes). Drain and serve with salsa.

Makes about 15 to 20.



Savoury Pies/Tarts/Quiches

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