When my niece, Jackie, married Omar I was happy that she chose such a fine young man. What I didn’t know was that I was getting a fellow foodie, who was going to introduce me to foods from his family’s native country of Ecuador. Recently, Omar came to my home to spend an afternoon cooking. Together we made a year supply of his favorite recipe from my blog, to Cranberry-Pecan Cheese Crackers, and he filled my freezer with my favorite Ecuadorian Beef Empanadas.
The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Whether an alternative to a sandwich for lunch or a favorite appetizer for a party, this make ahead and freezer friendly recipe is always a crowd favorite. Each time I defrost and warm one of Omar’s empanadas, I’m reminded of the fun day we had cooking together. Some of my favorite food memories are cooking alongside friends, family and especially my mom. The connection over slicing, dicing and eating are much more authentic and intimate than going out to a restaurant. The holiday season is the perfect time to create memories with your family or friends over a cutting board or a stove. Make sure and snap a few pictures, so you never forget.
§ 1 package Empanada discs
§ 1/2 lb ground beef
§ 1/2 yellow onion - chopped
§ 1/2 red pepper - chopped
§ 1/4 cup tomato sauce
§ 6 Spanish olives stuffed with pimentos
§ 2 cloves garlic
§ 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
§ Goya Adobo all-purpose seasoning
§ 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
§ 2 eggs hard boiled
§ Salt and pepper to taste
To hard boil eggs, place the eggs into a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt for easy peeling. Cook uncovered over high heat until the water begins to boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 12 minutes. Run eggs over cool water, peel and set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté ground beef until browned. Add chopped onions and red peppers and sautés until onion is translucent. Season to taste with Goya Adobo.
Stir in tomato sauce, olives, garlic, oregano, salt and black pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.
Slice the hard-boiled eggs and add to the ground beef mixture while cooling.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill empanada discs.
Moisten edges with egg wash to close tightly and crimp edges.
Brush empanadas with egg wash (1 egg and 2 tablespoons of water). Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. If you don’t have parchment paper or Silpat, be sure to grease the baking sheet so that empanadas do not stick.
Place empanadas on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes rotating after 10 minutes for even browning.
Remove from oven and serve warm. For a printer friendly copy of the recipe go to Beef Empanadas. Enjoy!