Growing up, I would sit in the kitchen and watch my Grandma Paulina cook my favorite Puerto Rican dishes. My absolute favorite dish was her beef empanadas. She would make her own dough and spend hours in the kitchen creating these delicious beef patties that were to die for.
I am sad that I didn’t save her recipe, however, I do make my own version of beef empanadas, and my family and friends absolutely love them. I’m not going to sugar coat it, they are very time consuming to make, but the end result is so worth it. I usually only make them for special occasions, holidays, and of course when my son comes home from college on a break!
I use the recipe on Goya.com as my guide. This recipe makes 10 empanadas (I usually triple it to make 30 empanadas!).
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ lb. ground beef
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
¼ cup Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp. Sofrito (I use Goya)
1 packet Sazón GOYA® with Coriander and Annatto
1 tsp. Minced Garlic or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp. Dried Oregano
Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 package (14 oz.) GOYA® Discos (Yellow or White), thawed
Corn Oil, for frying
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more. Stir in tomato sauce, Sofrito, Sazón, garlic, oregano and black pepper. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.
2. On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, roll out discos until ½” larger in diameter. Spoon about 1 tbsp. meat mixture into middle, fold in half to form a half moon; moisten edges with water and pinch to seal closed, or seal with a fork.
3. Fill a deep saucepan with oil to a depth of 2½”. Heat oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking (350°F on deep-fry thermometer). Cook Empanadas in batches until crisp and golden brown, flipping once, 4 – 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
TIP: I serve with some hot sauce on the side!