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Beef Empanadas | Great Performances


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Beef Empanadas
by Chef Andy Mejias, Chef de Cuisine at The Norm

Note from Chef Saul:

Chef Andy has worked with Johnathon for about 2 years, helping John develop his skills every day and pushing him to become a stronger cook. John has responded by becoming The Norm's most trusted line cook. This recipe is a collaboration between Chef Andy and John. After a cook has developed a Chef's trust it's time for collaboration!


2 pounds ground beef

1 small white onion

2 tbsp garlic, minced

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp, ground coriander

2 tsp celery salt

2 tsp black pepper

12 oz (1 can) crushed tomatoes

4 oz frozen peas, thawed

½ cup canola oil

2.5 lbs masa

4.5 cups water

1 tbsp salt

4 tbsp lime juice


1) In a large saute pan add canola oil and turn flame to medium high.

2) Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

3) Add beef and cook for about 15 minutes.

4) Add cumin, coriander, black pepper and salt. Cook for 2 minutes.

5) Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes until reduced.

6) Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning. Add peas, and stir well. Allow mixture to cool.

7) In a large bowl combine masa, salt, lime juice and water. Mix until you have a moist pliable ball of dough. Wrap in plastic and let sit for 30 minutes.

8) After 30 minutes, divide the ball into 3oz portions. Roll each ball into a 4-inch diameter circle.

9) Put 4oz of filling in the center of each circle.

10) Fold dough circles into half moons, like a large ravioli.

11) Crimp the edges of the empanada to seal well.

12) Add 2 quarts of canola oil to a large frying pan. Heat to 325F.

16) Fry empanadas until each side is golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.

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